New study shows iGaming provides significant economic benefit
Online gambling is limited in its availability within the United States, with only Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey having legalized and regulated the industry within their state borders. New Jersey provides both online casino and poker gaming, with a recent study showing that jobs and revenues have increased for the state thanks to online gaming.
Sponsored by iDEA (iDevelopment and Economic Association), the study covered the legalized online gaming industry in the state and discovered that the new industry has made a positive impact, creating tax revenue and providing jobs to the state as well as encouraging technological innovation. In the past, opponents of iGaming believed that such activity would have a negative impact; a belief the study found little support for.
The effects of online gaming in the state were studied within the paper titled: “Economic Impact of New Jersey Online Gaming: Lessons Learned.” The paper was written by researchers Alan Meister, Ph.D., of Nathan Associates, along with Gene Johnson of Victor Strategies. The two worked together to analyze financial as well as sociological data that has been accumulated since the state began to offer iGaming back in 2013.
The study was sponsored by iDEA, a group that represents the online gaming industry interests of the United States and was peer reviewed by the researchers of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The findings show that through 2016, online gaming in New Jersey has directly and indirectly been able to generate as much as $998.3 million in revenues, employee wages of $218.9 million, $124.4 million in tax revenues for local and state governments as well as create 3,374 employment opportunities.
According to the research, it has been suggested that such benefits could take place in other regions of the US as well. A founding member of iDEA and a leading attorney in the gaming industry, Jeff Ifrah, stated that the experience in New Jersey provides valuable lessons for other states in regards to the legislation of online gaming. The operating environment of the state, as well as regulatory structure, provides a portable model that can be implemented in other jurisdictions, which will bring about jobs and tax-revenues, both of which are much-needed.
When online gambling was first being considered in New Jersey and other states, opponents raised concerns. Such concerns were found to be largely unfounded during this study. There has not been an incident of online cheating or player fraud in the state and street crime has not been impacted with incidents of cybercrime being very rare.
According to Ifrah, regulations have been successful in New Jersey as they have some of the strictest online gaming regulations in the industry, across the globe. The regulations in place ensure that operators are held accountable and players have the ability to trust that they will be protected.
In the study, terms such as iGaming and online gaming refer to for-profit games found on the internet including online casino games, sports betting, online bingo, online poker, and lotteries. Online gaming is a highly regulated industry in the US and all businesses that are associated with the industry must have a partnership with a brick and mortar casino venue.
Several states are currently considering online gaming legislation including:
- New York