A little more than four months after Internet gambling was launched in New Jersey, the state licensed operators of online casino and poker rooms in the Garden State are approaching an important deadline. New Jersey makes money off of its Internet gambling industry in several ways. First and foremost, there is a nonrefundable application fee which prospective online gambling providers have to pay. Once approved, there is of course a licensing fee involved. And ongoing, taxes are levied on revenues generated by the state sanctioned online gambling sites funneled through the Oceanside Boardwalk casinos of Atlantic City. But an important consideration when New Jersey legislators legalized online gambling was that the state would benefit from job creation. That time has come.
Regulators required that by May 1, 2014, certain parts of the Internet gambling industry in New Jersey must be physically located within state boundaries. The legislation did not require an immediate state-based presence, because they understood that many of the operators had to move physical equipment, open offices and undergo other intensive activities to establish a physical Garden State presence. With just a little more than three weeks to go before the approaching deadline, any Internet gambling branch that deals with fraud detection, bookkeeping, accounting or customer service has to benefit the state by a brick-and-mortar presence.
There was no need for such a declaration of law governing land-based casinos in New Jersey. After all, dealers, drink servers, casino staff and janitorial personnel had to show up at their land-based jobs, located on the famous seaside boardwalk. But in the virtual world of gambling, thanks to the ever-present and global reach of the Internet, gaming employees can sit behind computer screens anywhere in the world. The forward thinking piece of legislation which requires an in-state presence for many online gambling employees looks to fill the more than 20,000 jobs that industry analysts believe will be needed in the future, just in that one state. There is currently no exact number available which represents how many gambling related jobs have been created thanks to New Jersey Internet wagering. The Atlantic City casinos and poker rooms located outside of the United States are not subject to these specific in state job requirements.
Gaming regulators in the state have wisely put no quotas or demands on specific numbers. William J. Pascrell III is a longtime New Jersey lobbyist who pushed for Internet gambling. He points out that “New Jersey has already elapsed Nevada and Delaware’s markets” in the United States online gambling industry, and expects 2014 to see several hundred tech centered Web gambling jobs created in the state. Further promoting growth as the central hub of the United States cyber gambling industry, NJ Senator Jim Whelan is the cosponsor of a bill which would allow international virtual gambling firms to operate in his state.
To further cyber gambling growth, New Jersey also recently asked the Supreme Court to repeal the sports gambling ban online in the United States. And if Pascrell is to be believed, New Jersey is “just scratching the surface” in regards to what job creation numbers and revenue can be expected in the near future. With nearby New York and Pennsylvania considering some type of online legalization of gambling, and population rich California probably not far from joining the cyber party, New Jersey would be wise to attempt any and every measure to expand its online gambling presence and dominance as soon as possible. Gambling center job growth is certainly needed in New Jersey, which saw 1,600 brick-and-mortar casino jobs lost in January when the historic Atlantic Club Casino Hotel closed its doors.