While some states are still debating whether to fully embrace the gambling industry, there are many others who are already enjoying the financial benefits it brings.
New Jersey is a great example of the commercial impact gambling can have, with the state currently enjoying a big boom in revenues and employment within the sector.
Study Highlights Big Gambling Boom
One of the major reasons that states allow online casinos and sports betting sites to operate within their boundaries is the positive effect it can have on the local economy.
Recent research by the iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA) has shown that more than 1,850 jobs were created by the sector in New Jersey during 2018.
That takes the total of new jobs created since 2013 when online casinos were first launched in the state to over 6,500.
With tax revenues of almost $260 million generated during the same timeframe, it is easy to see why New Jersey has been so supportive of the gambling industry.
“The results of this report demonstrate the economic, regulatory and consumer safeguard wins that mobile gaming and betting offers a state,” said Jeff Ifrah, founder of iDEA.
“Eighty percent of sports betting wagers are already placed on mobile devices or online. When bets are done legally and in the proper regulatory framework, everyone wins.
“For the many states considering whether to legalise mobile betting and gaming, the question to ask is, ‘What could your state do with more tax dollars?’
“The additional revenue gained from mobile gaming can be earmarked for important state initiatives.”
Gambling Industry Benefits Local Communities
Supporters of online casinos and sports betting sites argue that allowing them to operate within a jurisdiction has huge economic benefits for that particular region.
Studies have shown that states that allow casinos to open have around eight percent higher rates of employment and greater salary levels.
Tax revenues from gambling are proven to have a positive impact on local economies, allowing money to be spent on state programs that might otherwise have been neglected.
This is often in areas where support is needed most, such as homeless projects, aiding people with disabilities or helping the elderly.
Opponents often highlight problem gambling as a reason why states should not allow the practice, arguing that it has a negative impact on the community.
However, while the expansion of gambling in some states has been shown to cause an initial spike in the number of problem gamblers, the figures eventually level off.
With the majority of people able to gamble without any issues, the pros generated by the industry appear to outweigh the cons.
Nebraska Aiming to Follow New Jersey’s Lead
With New Jersey enjoying the benefits of a licensed and regulated gambling industry, it is easy to see why many other states are eager to jump on the bandwagon.
Nebraska is one such state, with a local Native American tribe campaigning heavily for casino gambling to be legalised there.
Ho-Chunk Inc. is the driving force behind the campaign which wants to allow commercial gambling at Nebraska’s licensed horse racing tracks.
Lance Morgan, president and CEO of Ho-Chunk, claims that the state would benefit to the tune of around $80 million annually in taxes.
Nearly $1.5m has been contributed to the campaign so far and Morgan believes that following New Jersey’s lead makes perfect sense for Nebraska.
“We’re not spending this amount of capital because we think it’s a bad idea,” he said. “Any reasonable person who goes to the casinos in Council Bluffs (Iowa) knows that 90% of their customers are from Omaha and Lincoln.”