Why Legalized Internet Gambling in New Jersey Will Help Boost Atlantic City

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Why Legalized Internet Gambling in New Jersey Will Help Boost Atlantic City

On Tuesday night, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addressed his concerns over legalized Internet gambling in the state, primarily will Web casinos and poker rooms keep gamblers from going to Atlantic City?


A bill to allow Web gambling in New Jersey passed overwhelmingly in both the Assembly and Senate.  It currently sits on the Governor’s desk and he has until February 3 to sign or veto the measure.

Let’s look at why Gambling911.com believes regulated online casinos and poker rooms in the Garden State will only boost Atlantic City’s economy and not hinder it as Christie fears. 

The Expert Opinion

Nearly every Vegas casino head backed a bill legalizing online poker that ultimately became law in the state of Nevada.  Should Christie require an expert opinion, he should look no further than the actual folks who run these casinos. 

Years ago casino operators in Vegas shared the very same concerns as Christie.  Later extensive research demonstrated legalized online gambling would compliment the brick and mortar casino industry.

This was eventually proven with the explosive popularity of the World Series of Poker, which was fuelled heavily from Internet poker satellites.  The peak of the WSOP’s popularity occurred in 2006, pre-prohibition a la the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA).  A significant drop in participation was noted immediately following passage of UIGEA. 

The WSOP resulted in thousands of more visitors to Sin City during the stifling hot months of June and July.  Not only did we see Vegas hotels filled to capacity but temporary housing in and around the city were suddenly in high demand. 

The PokerStars Effect

PokerStars proposed purchase of the Atlantic Club Casino (formerly the Atlantic City Hilton) alone would help boost the economy in New Jersey’s battered boardwalk gambling destination. 

The world’s largest real money Internet card room holds dozens of poker tournaments around the globe yearly.  One could expect a decent number of tournaments to be held in Atlantic City upon Stars entering the landscape.  These events will most certainly attract some of the biggest – and shall we say wealthiest – names in poker today. 

We may conceivably see events taking place in Atlantic City that would rival that of the World Series of Poker, resulting in an extraordinary boost to the local economy. 

PokerStars has already demonstrated they have the capacity to make this a reality for Atlantic City. 

This local gambling Mecca also has the potential to become an international destination on par with New York and Miami by holding high demand big money poker tournaments. 

Hub Dollars

The New Jersey Internet gambling measure requires firms to be licensed and host their services in Atlantic City proper.  This means countless more jobs as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional funds derived from licensing fees and service costs. 

New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak, who is pushing for legalization, may have said it best.  Without online gambling in New Jersey, one or more Atlantic City casinos will inevitably be shut down.    

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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