New Jersey is well-known for its boardwalk beaches and Atlantic City casinos. According to statistics, these prominent tourist attractions draw in an average of 27 million tourists each year. So it’s no wonder people are flocking to New Jersey to have some fun and experience life in a unique American city.
If you’re planning to go to New Jersey for gambling, you’ll be glad to know that you’ve found the right place for your whims. There are around 21 land-based casinos in New Jersey for you to choose from, and you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice when trying to decide where to go. Most of the casinos in New Jersey are reputable establishments that are quite luxurious and offer a wide variety of entertainment along with the usual casino games.
But how does New Jersey compare to other states within America, and why is it so popular for gambling in the first place?
How Does New Jersey Compare to the Rest of America?
Despite images of saloons in the ‘Wild West’ style depicting men and women gambling away at tables and having loads of fun, America is actually quite strict when it comes to regulating the gambling industry in general.
There are a number of laws on the federal and state level that are used to regulate the gambling market in the States, and both casinos and customers are expected to obey these quite closely. However, in order to help boost tourism, the government left a lot of room for states to decide how they’d like to regulate gambling within their boundaries.
Thankfully, New Jersey is one of just a few states that has taken more of a relaxed stance when it comes to regulating gambling, both online and offline. This makes it widely popular for both casinos in the physical and digital world, as well as for customers who are looking for an exciting weekend getaway to gamble.
While New Jersey is not as centrally focussed around gambling as cities like Las Vegas, for instance, it does offer a wide variety of establishments for you to choose from. One main difference is that New Jersey is widely considered a lot more aesthetically pleasant than Las Vegas. It’s close to the ocean, making it a lot cooler than the scorching heat of Las Vegas. New Jersey also features some really beautiful natural attractions, like Lake Hopatcong, and natural mountains such as the Palisades Cliffs along the Hudson River. This means you can enjoy more on your trip there, often without having to spend any extra cash.
If you compare the stats to Las Vegas, which gets roughly 42 million tourists a year, New Jersey will definitely be a lot more of a relaxing environment for you to travel to – which is especially important if you dislike the hustle and bustle of crowded spaces and having to wait in long queues to get any service.
Another interesting stat about New Jersey when compared to Las Vegas is that technically more sports betting occurs in New Jersey. So if watching your favorite game in a cozy little bar sounds appealing to you over a noisy casino, then definitely consider visiting some of the local bars around New Jersey as they’re a staple of New Jersey culture and infamous for their intimate and friendly environments for sports fans.
New Jersey is a really quaint city that definitely deserves a lot more praise and attention. Its popularity has been growing steadily over the last few years, and we suspect that more and more people will be heading that way each year.
Outside of these two most popular destinations for gamblers in the US, there’s another surprising contender—Chicago. Although the law states that land-based casinos cannot operate there, riverboats provide a way around this and generate around $2.5 billion a year. Illinois hasn’t yet legalized online casinos, however sports betting is thriving in the state. Throughout last year, the industry generated around $1.9 billion in revenue.
Like NJ, Pennsylvania has a thriving online and bricks-and-mortar casino industry. In fact, PA’s casinos were the second-highest earning after Nevada’s, generating over $5.3 billion in 2022. NJ’s $5.2 billion put the state close behind in third place.
Online Casinos in New Jersey
It’s not all about tourists having fun in casinos in Atlantic City—New Jersey also has a massive online gambling scene, something Las Vegas and Nevada can’t compete with. Due to the fact that the local government in New Jersey is pretty adamant about encouraging gambling in their state, they’ve included a lot of support for online casinos to operate there.
At the moment, there are around 24 online casinos that allow you to play from anywhere operating within New Jersey. These platforms are growing in number and are thriving as the government seeks to keep gambling revenue and taxes within the state, rather than going to offshore platforms.
In July 2023 alone, New Jersey amassed $152.5 million just from online slots. The overall online gaming revenue for the month was $155.2 million, with the remainder coming from peer-to-peer poker games. The total was a massive 13.5% higher than the same month last year, showing just how successful New Jersey’s casino industry is.
By the end of July, the state’s total gaming revenue during 2023 until that point had well surpassed $1 billion. Online, the total was $1.09 billion, whereas land-based casinos generated a further $1.65 billion.
Comparing these numbers to Vegas, NJ still has a bit of catching up to do, but its casino scene is much younger. During 2022, slots generated over $10 billion across Nevada, while the entire casino industry was worth almost $15 billion. Alone, the Las Vegas Strip’s total revenue for the year was in excess of $8 billion.
However, Nevada doesn’t permit online gambling, mainly to protect the state’s thriving land-based casinos. With both thriving, New Jersey could well be set to overtake Vegas as America’s top gambling destination in the future.