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Is iGaming Bad for New Jersey’s Economy?

New Jersey is generally regarded as the Silicon Valley of igaming in America and its online casinos are some of the most successful online casinos in North America. On paper, it appears as though the Garden State is in a perpetual state of boom but a recent study commissioned by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling suggests that may not be the case.

The report’s conclusion suggests that basically all of the many millions of tax revenue that’s generated by igaming operators is, in turn, swallowed up by the impact of problem gambling – and that’s just one of the problems they found.

Online gambling is, by its nature, not a very labor-intensive business especially when compared to land-based casinos. According to the study, online gambling puts about four cents of every dollar at the business into employee wages that go back into the NJ economy. Land-based casinos, it goes on to say, contribute around 12 cents per dollar while non-gambling, land-based activities put back 39 cents per dollar.

The researcher’s findings suggest that even though igaming contributes $110 million worth of wages to New Jersey residents, non-gaming, land-based activities would have contributed $1 billion in wages.

Jeff Ifrah, Jeff Ifrah, founder and general counsel of the pro-igaming lobbying group iDEA, took issue with the study telling the Guardian, “The NERA report is misleading for many reasons and betrays a basic misunderstanding of the most fundamental aspects of the legal iGaming industry: Without legalized iGaming, consumers turn to illegal, offshore sites that offer zero protection to players nor any economic benefits to the state.”

For now, it seems unlikely that the report will have any impact on the growth of online gambling in New Jersey.