Internet gambling in New Jersey has been underwhelming in the year since it began. It’s under attack by opponents looking to shut it down, even as it provides a bit of help to Atlantic City’s struggling casinos.
When it started, Internet gambling was hailed by many as a potential game-changer that would help reverse years of declining revenues at Atlantic City’s 12 casinos. Gov. Chris Christie’s administration expected online betting to bring in $1 billion in its first year.
But only one-tenth of that has materialized. And since Internet gambling started, four casinos closed. A fifth is poised to shutter next month.
But even the small revenue boost from online gambling is helping the casinos that offer it. In several months, Internet winnings were the difference between the surviving casinos posting a revenue decline or an increase compared with a year earlier.