Online poker in New Jersey could generate lower than expected gross gambling yield (GGY) of $113m during its first year, according to a new report from a firm that analyzes gambling trends. This figure is much lower than official state estimates.
Governor Chris Christie’s administration is hoping for $180m in total gambling revenues in the first year. At a 15% tax rate, GamblingData’s figures suggest first year tax receipts will be less than $40m.
New Jersey legalized online gambling in February, opening the door for the full gamut of casino games, including poker. The state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement is expected to set a launch date for sometime between May 26 and November 26.
There are nine operators in the market, including gaming industry titans Caesars Entertainment and Boyd Gaming.
The competition could quickly increase, as Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars, looks to invest more than $40m into The Atlantic Club Hotel and Casino and enter the Garden State’s online poker network.
When Gov. Chris Christie signed the bill into law, he pointed to “bringing financial benefits to New Jersey as a whole.”
A base estimate from the firm forecasts that casino games and poker combined could generate $261.9m in GGY during the first full year of operation. By the fourth year, that number could jump to $462.9m.
The state will receive 15% of those figures plus the benefit of a compulsory 2.5% investment in the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Operators not making the investment will be taxed at 20%.
The New Jersey analysis was compared with projections for “regulated or soon-to-be-regulated” European online gaming, particularly in Italy, “a suitable base country whose data can suggest a starting point in terms of the prospective market’s potential size and expected evolution.”
“New Jersey-licensed operators will be able to launch their online casino and poker products with a full suite of games and are not expected to be faced by any meaningful unlicensed market, unlike in Italy,” the report stated.