New Jersey Budget Issues Could Put Online Gambling Industry at Risk
If you follow online gambling in the United States even just a little bit, then you know that the top state is New Jersey. Month after month, online casino, poker and sports betting bring in millions in revenues, with the state easily surpassing the $30 million mark time and time again. However, the state may soon see a dramatic cut in revenue earnings, if the state budget issues are not solved.
According to Legal Sports Report, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement instructed operators to place a message on their sites by the 24th of this month. The message advises players that beginning on July 7th at 11:59 pm, the online casino and sports betting accounts in the state may not be accessible if the State Budget is not passed into law.
If the budget is not passed, wagering and the withdrawal of funds would not be available. In the language of the message, it appears to involve providers of sports betting services that operate with a casino license. Those who offer services with a license via racetrack have a few more days before having to post the message.
Lawmakers and Governor Murphy have until June 30th to decide on the budget for next year. If they do not come to an agreement, then Murphy can start a government shutdown.
A move to shutdown the sites and services were to stop, it would mean millions lost in revenues. Operators are asking that authorities allow players to at least have access to their funds and make a withdrawal. If players are unable to do so, it will create distrust among gamblers and players might not be as willing to take part in gaming online as readily in the future once sites are up and running again.
If players are restricted access to their accounts, it could create a panic or leave players uncertain as to when they would have access to their cash again in the future. This could then set up the illegal black market to succeed which would only cause harm to the illegal industry in the future.
As retaliation for sites not providing access to their funds, players may choose to avoid the regulated market and play at illegal sites. If players feel they cannot trust the state regulated options, they may just avoid online gaming altogether.
The reputation of the state’s gaming industry is at stake and New Jersey has done well to build a strong reputation as a top leader in the nation. Operators have made a suggestion to regulators that players be allowed to make withdrawals during a government shutdown. If this will actually be allowed has yet to be revealed.
Legislators presented their spending plan for the new year last week and it came in at $38.7 billion. Murphy has not signed or vetoed the budget and is not showing his hand as to which way he is leaning. The problem between Murphy and lawmakers is the govenor’s want to have a new millionaires tax offered. He wants to tax those who make over $1 million and lawmakers are not having it.
It will be interesting to see if the governor signs or vetoes the measure, hopefully in any case, avoiding a government shutdown. The gambling industry in the state does not need a setback as they have already came so far over the past few years, gaining positive earnings and a strong reputation as a top leader in the overall gambling landscape in the United States.