New Jersey Likely to Lose 12% of Gamblers to New York

New Jersey Likely to Lose 12% of Gamblers to New YorkA recent poll conducted of New Jersey residents found that 12% will likely gamble in New York instead of New Jersey once more casinos are built.

New York is planning to erect four resort casinos after a majority of residents voted “aye” in favor of land-based gambling expansion at a November referendum. Currently, the state is home to five casinos operated by Indian tribes and nine slot parlors located at racetracks.

A PublicMind poll undertaken at Fairleigh Dickinson University in which 907 New Jersey residents were queried over the telephone found that 57% would continue to gamble at Atlantic City casinos, 12% plan to shift their loyalty to New York, and the remaining 31% remained undecided. New Jersey has lost a great deal of its casino goers to neighboring states over the years and the poll results show that the trend may continue.

After accruing $5.2 billion in revenue in 2006, Atlantic City has seen casino revenue decrease for seven consecutive years. The total fell to $2.86 billion in 2013, prompting New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to sign an online poker and gambling bill into law in an attempt to recoup some of those land-based gaming losses.

While regulated igaming has picked up some of the slack, revenue totals have not met initial projections and caused Christie to re-evaluate his earlier estimates. To be fair, online poker and gambling in the Garden State remains a work in progress after launching only seven months ago.

New Jersey had long been second to Nevada in brick and mortar casino revenue, but lost that position in recent years to Pennsylvania. The Keystone State now has a dozen casinos of its own and is also seriously considering expanding into the realm of Internet gambling regulation.

While the expected loss of more gamblers to New York casinos does not bode well for New Jersey, representatives of the Casino Association of New Jersey preferred to look on the bright side. With a majority of those polled anticipating to remain loyal to their home state, a casino industry insider insisted that Atlantic City remains the heart of gaming as well as providing world-class entertainment.

The brand new casinos in New York will not be located in New York City, at least not for the next seven years. But bidders are hoping to erect new casinos as close as possible to the city proper with a couple of preferred locations only about a one-hour drive away. Caesars has its eye on a location 50 miles from Manhattan and a Malaysian firm has mentioned building a casino some 40 miles from Times Square, the Press of Atlantic City reported.

The Fairleigh Dickinson poll was conducted between May 27 and June 1. The margin of error is estimated at plus/minus 3.3%. A poll analyst from the university said that the expected 12% loss of customers “could be devastating” considering that New Jersey revenue is on a seven-year downward slide.

Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett