Over 125 Thousand Accounts – And Climbing – For Online Casinos in New Jersey
State regulators in New Jersey have confirmed that over 125,000 accounts have been created so far at the online poker rooms and casinos that became legal within the state’s borders in November of 2013.
The precise total provided by NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement as of December 29th, 2013 was 126,231.
A new update regarding the total number of accounts created will be issued sometime tomorrow. If past trends are any indication, the new total will be somewhere north of 140,000; since launching on November 25th, New Jersey’s online casinos have seen roughly 18,000 new accounts registered each week on average.
Number has somewhat limited utility
With very limited data made available to the public so far, many people have seized upon the account creation numbers as a proxy for the size and health of New Jersey’s regulated iGaming industry.
But the plain fact of the matter is that the number is a blunt instrument that actually provides precious little detail or context for online gambling in New Jersey. For example, it gives us no way of knowing how many actual individuals are playing at the now-legal poker and casino sites operated by Atlantic City casinos, as single individuals could create over a dozen accounts.
Furthermore, it does not speak to the level of activity for those accounts, meaning we gain no insight into the potential revenue earned to date from Internet gambling in New Jersey. Nor can we glean any specifics concerning how customers are accessing the state’s online gambling sites; for example, how many are choosing the mobile poker options available at rooms like PartyPoker NJ and WSOP.com?
Finally, the number does not distinguish between customers who live in the state and those who traveled to New Jersey in order to play online.
Several operators still on the sidelines in New Jersey
Industry observers will be carefully watching to see what impact the entry of the remaining eligible operators has on specific metrics like the account creation number and on New Jersey’s iGaming industry as a whole.
Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal have yet to move forward with an online casino or poker site. Both casinos do have partners that are operating sites under the Trump iGaming permits, but both (Betfair and UCasino) are doing so under their own brands.
There’s no word on when, if ever, Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal plan to launch sites bearing their iconic branding.
Resorts is still pausing their launch as they wait for partner PokerStars to reach an agreement with the DGE. And the financially-troubled Revel has yet to even identify a partner and has publicly indicated that they are not making online gambling a priority.
Meanwhile, Golden Nugget and Tropicana have both gone live with casino play, but their poker plans remain on hold. And Wynn Interactive (said to be partnering with 888) has so far been a no-show in New Jersey.
Could NJ face competition from neighboring states in 2014?
In the status quo, New Jersey is effectively the nationwide leader in the regulated online gambling space. Nevada only offers online poker, and while Delaware offers a full suite of casino and poker, the state’s tiny population and state-monopolized market renders it something of an afterthought.
But New Jersey’s lofty status is likely to have a rather short shelf life.
Analysts are already pegging Pennsylvania, where lawmakers have agreed to study the issue of online gambling regulation and issue a report in early spring of 2014, as a state likely to join the game sooner than later. And New York has recently been the target of intense iGaming speculation in the wake of that state’s approval of massive gambling expansion last year.
It’s believed that a fair amount of New Jersey’s online gambling traffic originates from those two states, meaning that regulation in either could exert a negative impact on New Jersey’s industry. How much of an impact remains to be seen.
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