While New Jersey officials aren’t admitting defeat or failure by any means in their latest assessment of online gambling’s arrival in New Jersey, they are admitting that initial revenue projections were simply too lofty.
New Jersey State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, for example, was compelled this week to reduce state projections for the amount of revenue the state would see during its first fiscal year of regulated online gambling activity.
At first, the $200 million increase in tax revenue anticipated was slashed to $160 million. And now, it’s been slashed even further.
Perhaps “eviscerated” is more like it. The state now expects just a $34 million jump in casino tax revenue for the fiscal year ending in June.
“We were told by the industry at the time that the introduction of online gaming would help energize Atlantic City’s ongoing recovery,” Sidamon-Eristoff said. And while he remains “bullish” on this nascent market, revenue and growth still haven’t “met our expectations for the first fiscal year.”
“The rollout has been slower than anticipated and the resulting revenue has been lower than projections,” Gene Johnson, senior vice president for market researching and online studies at Spectrum Gaming Group, tells the Star-Ledger, citing numerous reasons for the sluggish growth. “It’s going to be very interesting to see how it plays out.”