New Jersey DGE Moves to Redact Revenue Reports
In what seems to many like a sudden move, this week the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced that it will be significantly reducing the amount of data contained within its monthly casino revenue reports, this according to the Press of Atlantic City.
The DGE has been considering the shift since back in November, says the paper, which was incidentally when the Garden State became the third state in the nation to begin offering real money online poker as well as Internet-based casino games.
Garden State has been more forthcoming than others
For many years, New Jersey has released more in-depth information about the performance of its land-based casinos – which number eleven after this week’s closure of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel – a fact that, upon review, Garden State gaming regulators felt puts the state’s long-struggling casino industry at a disadvantage when compared to other gaming states, whose revenue reports contain far less revealing data.
“When you compare New Jersey to other jurisdictions … we believe that the New Jersey casinos are at competitive disadvantage given the level of detail that was being provided. Significantly, even with the change to brick and mortar reporting, New Jersey remains one of the most transparent gaming jurisdictions,” said Lisa Spengler, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
According to the Press, going forward New Jersey plans to “only report table game win and slot machine win by property along with the drop or handle, which indicates the volume of play.”
Comparatively, Nevada does not break out specific property data, whereas Pennsylvania – a gambling market that has put a major hurt on Atlantic City and in 2012 managed to usurp New Jersey’s gambling capitol as the second-largest wagering market in the United States – does report on takes from specific properties but clumps table games into broad categories.
New policy may lead to misinformation
The move has caught many by surprise, and predictably, has been especially poorly received by members of the poker and casino media, most of whom eagerly await the release of the revenue numbers from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Particularly since the launch of real money online gambling in New Jersey nearly two months ago, the poker media and the mainstream media alike have breathlessly reported figures when the DGE puts them out.
Obviously that is slated to change given the Division’s new stance on reporting, which already has some worried that a lack of transparency will only lead to misinterpretation, misrepresentation, and speculation as to the health of the state’s gambling economy.
“Honestly, I don’t know why they’re doing this. More transparency is obviously better, so I don’t know what would have prompted this. I’ll reserve any other comment until I know more,” remarked New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan, a Democrat.
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