It may seem like Atlantic City has been as much of a US gambling mainstay as Las Vegas, but Resorts Atlantic City, the first casino, didn't even open until 1978.
It was an exciting place to be for quite awhile. The boardwalk, the saltwater taffy, and new casinos popping up right and left drew massive numbers of gamblers to the only east coast destination for casino gambling. In 2006, casino revenues in the area peaked at a massive $5.2 billion dollars.
Fast forward to 2014, and five casinos have already closed their doors in the last few years. Some of the slump in this once booming city can be attributed to new competition through Indian-run casinos in neighboring states and some because AC simply just didn't continue to evolve. It rested on its laurels and didn't get into the resort-type additions that Las Vegas embraced with spas, theme parks, major nightclubs, and some of the best gourmet dining in the world.
It's been apparent that Atlantic City needed some new life breathed into it and who would have thought that it would come from online gambling. If you had asked me, I would have guessed that legalized online casino gambling would have created even more negative impact for AC brick and mortars, but it is quite the opposite.
Legalized online gambling in New Jersey kicked off in November of 2013 and, not only has it continued to increase in revenue but has positively impacted the land-based casinos by exposing their brands to brand new players. Yes, there was still fallout from the decline in business that started in 2010, but the casinos that stayed in the game and added an online version of their business have started reaping the benefits.
According to the Huffington Post, prominent New Jersey licensed operators Borgata, Caesars, and Resorts have all reported that their online exposure has resulted in increased traffic. More people know their names and online players are honing their skills online but then are anxious to give live gambling a spin.
To do business in New Jersey operators must be Licensed and Regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement (NJDGE). Five major licensees host multiple websites for a combined 25 different online gaming possibilities for NJ residents only.
Whereas anyone of legal age can walk in the doors to an Atlantic City Casino, the online version is restricted to players who reside within New Jersey's borders.
These are the 25 New Jersey operated websites:
From what I hear, it's a much different scenario today as it was just three short years ago. If you live in the United States, you're probably familiar with the difficulties in funding an online gambling account. Most banks and credit card companies are quick to default to a decline status for any transfer requests.
The situation in New Jersey has become a lot better now, though. E-Checks options are offered by all of the sites and, about 80% of the time; e-Check requests are approved as long as it's a Garden State held account.
New Jersey is following suit with other countries which allow for online gambling for their residents, like the UK, and is now offering some e-wallet options and one more unique way to get the job done.
When Governor Chris Christie signed the Internet gambling legislation for his home state, he had anticipated a $1 billion revenue for New Jersey's casinos equating to $150 million in tax revenue for the state.
The numbers are well under the original projections but are increasing steadily. April of 2017 recorded the best month so far on the books at $20.8 million, a nearly 21% increase from the previous year.
Table games, slots, and video poker take in the top dollars as poker rooms fall much farther behind yielding less than two million in revenue for that same month of April.
With fully licensed casinos and new ways to fund online betting, New Jersey fans of casino betting can now easily experience everything from the comfort of their own home.
There's just one little thing missing...the saltwater taffy.