Legal betting online has now been alive and well through state-regulated and certified gambling sites in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey for more than two months. And while the early numbers are certainly not blow-your-mind impressive, traffic and revenue has been steady where it has been reported, and there have not been any significant negative surprises. Recently sustained growth has evidenced itself, and mobile gambling estimates for 2014 in New Jersey look rather healthy. Add the third officially licensed Internet poker site launching in Nevada, and the legal online gambling industry in the United States is showing significant growth on several fronts.
When Governor Chris Christie proclaimed a ridiculous $1.1 billion in first-year annual revenues for The Garden State, no serious analysts or industry experts gave the bloated estimates serious consideration. But the January results for New Jersey showed $9.5 million in online gambling revenue, a substantial improvement by a full 28% compared to December’s $7.4 million take. However, the year end holiday season in late November and throughout December in North America generally shows less gambling support in both physical and online markets, so the lower December take was to be expected. In other positive news, more than 200,000 online gaming accounts have been created in New Jersey.
With a total state population of just over 8.8 million, that is a very encouraging player account number. And this sustained and supported growth in both player account openings and state generated revenue could be just poised to explode. The Atlantic City-based New Jersey Internet casino industry is predicted to grow substantially in 2014 and onward through the delivery of mobile PC and smartphone gambling applications. New Jersey Borgata Casino senior vice president Joe Lupo recently declared that, “Mobile applications will play an enormous piece of the puzzle in online wagering,” substantially boosting the current attractive financials which New Jersey is already claiming. And industry analysts agree, seeing reasons to believe a tripling of player traffic will occur in 2014 in NJ.
And in the gambling mecca that is Nevada, a third legal Internet poker site has joined the two established virtual Las Vegas poker offerings that are already up and running. Real Gaming joins the legal betting online industry in the United States, as it prepares for a tough battle with the UP and WSOP Nevada poker sites which are pretty evenly split concerning cash game and tournament traffic. Overall traffic levels in The Silver State have returned to approximately the numbers we saw when UP was operating by itself, leading many US online casino industry execs and number crunchers to believe that Real Gaming and its parent South Point Casino will have to employ a major marketing push to add significant poker player pool numbers to Nevada’s overall picture.
In Delaware, Governor Jack Markell saw $3.8 million wagered on his state’s newly released Internet gambling offerings. Not bad considering The First State has less than 1 million residents. With a one year revenue target of $5 million, even though the state’s early slice of that nearly $4 million pie was just $253,000, there is still reason to be hopeful. More Delaware Internet gambling options will be launched in 2014, and as the fourth largest source of funding in the state, marketing the relatively new virtual casino gambling options will be a priority. As far as legal betting online across America is concerned, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and California are all pushing for state-sponsored online gambling legislation, which could happen as early as this year.