New Jersey’s Casino Industry Reaching Tipping Point

With GGR in New Jersey growing quickly, lawmakers are taking preemptive measures to limit the expansion of the gambling industry in a bid to weather abrupt changes in the gaming climate, which is going to get difficult for the Garden State.

New Jersey to Reconsider Casino Expansion

With New Jersey’s Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) growing at a heady pace, officials are beginning to realize the long-term sustainability of the casino industry in the Garden State may be close to a tipping point.

After New Jersey’s sports betting handle overtook Nevada’s several months in a row, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has cautioned that the bonanza would not continue for much longer.

Similar to Nevada, New Jersey may now consider to limit the number of physical properties that offer gambling products.

So far, NJ has nine land-based casinos, and based on a report presented to a state Assembly Panel on Thursday and conducted by Rutgers University, no more properties should be allowed.

A Crowded Casino Market in the Northeast

Jim Johnson, a champion of economic stability in New Jersey who worked with Gov. Phil Murphy, has been among the people to voice concern about expanding the casino industry any further.

Mr. Johnson referred to the sustainability of even existing casinos ‘a very serious concern,’ posing its own challenges. He painted a gloomy picture for the entire industry:

“The trendlines suggest things are going to be down. The Atlantic City casino industry is vulnerable to challenges from within, and competition from outside the state. The data is really stark.”

Based on the report, a soon-to-arrive casino in Philadelphia’s stadium district would syphon off as much as $150 million from New Jersey.

The minimum projected amount that would swing the way of Philadelphia is at least $63 million. The upcoming property will feature some 2,000 slot machines, proving a valuable hub for gaming operations.

Adding More Casinos – That’s Just a Bad Idea

Responding to a suggestion to convert the Snowboat hotel into a casino establishment, Democratic Assemblyman Ralph Caputo called the move a ‘bad idea,’ as the gross operating revenue of casinos has started declining.

Mr. Caputo cited the arrival of the Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort as the main instigators of these problems. When Hard Rock bought Trump Taj Mahal – and rebranded it – the casino had lost $300 million already.  Moving forward the state will take a closer look at what it can do to guarantee the sustainability of the industry.

The challenges are both internal and external. Casinos are adding more square footage and gaming tables whereas neighboring states are cozying up to the idea of expanding their own gaming industries.

This leads to over-saturation in a rather constricted market that will eventually start biting into the work force, taxes, and more, lawmakers fear.

At least, the good news is New Jersey is working on the issue.

6 Comments

  • Joe Simiriglio
    November 19, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    New Jersey has capacity to add 2 north jersey casinos to counter NYC, and 1 in Camden county, 1 in Gloucester county to counter Philly casinos.
    Their are many gamblers who don’t travel to Atlantic City and prefer safer locations and areas with other offerings.
    Expanding casino to the PA & NJ border will increase state gaming revenue not decrease it.

    AC,must stand on their own or close. They shouldn’t be a monopoly.
    Sports betting revenue should. e dedicated to reducing property taxes dedicated to education.

  • Jimmy Whitehead
    November 19, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Good and truthful article Mike Johnson, bravo!

    Atlantic City doesn’t need more failing casinos for Atlantic City homeowners to have to pay more higher taxes to cover their development cost.

    Atlantic City could and probably will become America’s first RX5 Cybersecurity Tiangle in support of America’s cyber national security objectives.

    Atlantic City could become the new home on the Law Enforcement, FBI, NSA, CIA, DOD, and defense industry RX5 Cyber Warriors Workforce Training hub.

    5000 new jobs, billions of dollars of new private investment and revenue, and more new homeowners contributing to lowering property taxes, versus current Atlantic City homeowners paying higher taxes to cover the cost of failing casinos.

    2020 will be the beginning of this process.

  • William Dougherty
    November 19, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Do away with the number of rooms over 50 percent of cost taken from profit is the cost to maintain these rooms

  • Ric
    November 19, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    I’m tired of giving my money to rich people if they don’t pay I don’t play they should learn that they’re so greedy you can’t win anything

  • Doug
    November 19, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I have a idea clean up the town ,the board walk side is nice but the street side is scary, and the casino need to loosen up more people will.not come back if they are not winning,,also you need more stuff to do there not just casinos,,nice retail shops,eating joints,etc….and the casinos need to be nice some if them need to be updated,,I travel.up there from North Carolina to play and we don’t leave the casino because there us nothing to do outside of them and it’s pretty nasty and scary….

  • Paul Johnson
    November 19, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    Why don’t we let free enterprise determine what casinos exist? The ones who take better care of customers will survive and the ones who depend on the protection of government will fail.

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