Atlantic City is the only city that is licensed to have land based casinos in the state of New Jersey and once had a thriving casino industry that saw as many as twelve operational land based casinos. However Atlantic City’s casino industry has been in decline from 2006 as casino revenues have declined by more than 50 percent and brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy.
There are now only seven operational casinos in 2017 and there have been concerns that more casinos could shutdown due to the economic woes of the city and the ever increasing competition from the casino industry in neighboring states which are luring gamblers from New Jersey across the border.
When New Jersey legislators decided to push for lifting the ban on online gambling, there were concerns that the online gambling industry could eat into the profits of land based casinos, causing a further decline in their revenues. New Jersey legalized online gambling in 2013 and became one of the only three states in the United States to have lifted the ban on online gambling.
Gaming analysts had provided high estimates as to what the online gambling industry would generate in the garden state and how much the state government could benefit in the form of gaming taxes. However the online gambling industry got off to a sluggish start and after a year of operation, the gaming revenue was well below the margins that gaming analysts had predicted. Land based casinos were not threatened by the industry as some of the online gambling operators who launched in New Jersey, decided to pull out of the market as they felt that the market was stagnate and it would take a long for time for it to turn-around.
During the last 12 months, things have improved for the online gambling industry in New Jersey and the introduction of PokerStars into the New Jersey market has helped to boost online gambling revenue. PokerStars, the biggest online gambling website in the world finally got approval for an online gambling license towards the end of 2015 and launched operations in New Jersey during the early part of 2016.
A new study released by Eilers & Krejcik, a gaming research and consulting group revealed that the online gambling industry in New Jersey grew by 32 percent in 2016 and expects the market to grow by an additional 17 percent by the end of 2017. The Eilers & Krejcik study also highlights the fact that contrary to what some gaming observers suggested initially, the online gambling industry has not eaten into the profits of the land based casino industry but instead has helped to boost their traffic and revenue.
The study shows that since online casinos and land based casinos have an integrated relationship in New Jersey it has proven to work in favor of these land based casinos. This is because walking into a land based casino for the first time, can be a bit challenging for new players as they may not be very experienced at playing table games or slot machines. The ability to gamble online from the comfort of their own homes, allows them the opportunity to play whatever games they want online and not have to worry about whose watching their performance. This allows them to gain confidence after playing online a number of times and also boosts their interest to visit a land based casino and see how the experience turns out.
There are also a number of gamblers who have stopped visiting land based casinos for a number of reasons. However a number of online gaming operators offer special bonuses such as discounted hotel stays and free buffet meals at the casino resorts which help get them moving from the comfort of their home to a seat at a land based casino. The numbers from January 2017 will be of comfort to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) as it shows that both the land based and online gambling industry in New Jersey is finally moving in the right direction.
Land based casinos in Atlantic City witnessed a combined gross gaming revenue increase of 7.7 percent in the first month of the year and the online gambling industry generated $18.8 million in the same month.

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