According to a study of New Jersey’s online casino industry released in late August by the Rutgers University Center for Gambling Studies, one player posted more than $78 million in wagers last year.
The study – officially titled “Internet Gaming in New Jersey: Calendar Year 2015 Report to the Division of Gaming Enforcement” – did not identify the player responsible for placing $78.76 million worth of bets. It did, however, clarify that this astronomical amount was generated almost entirely at the online poker tables.
As such, the $78 million figure constitutes a combination of tournament buy-ins and cash game bets, both of which offer the likelihood of being recouped. Thus, the player in question didn’t win or lose eight figures, they simply generated that volume of poker betting.
The player falls within the top 10 percent of New Jersey online gamblers, a group of approximately 3,000 players who played for 158 days on average, placing 160,658 bets per year – or 440 bets per day
The Rutgers study was the second of its kind, part of New Jersey’s state mandated responsible gambling initiative paid for through tax revenues contributed by online casino operators.
The comprehensive study investigated every aspect of the state’s online gambling industry, which launched in late 2013. New Jersey differs from Nevada – the first state to regulate online gambling following the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006 – by allowing the full spectrum of casino gaming via the internet. Along with online poker, players can take part in other card games like blackjack or baccarat, table games like roulette or craps, virtual slot machines, and even scratch-style lottery games.
The state currently lists brick and mortar casino operators Borgata, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Golden Nugget, Tropicana, and Resorts as the five licensed operators. Borgata partners with online gaming software provider bWin, while Caesars runs 888 Holdings software, the Golden Nugget works with NYX and Betfair, and Tropicana utilizes Gamesys.
According to the date, 378,103 players registered for accounts with one of New Jersey’s 14 online casino “skins” – or branded versions of the same software platform. This marks a 29 percent decline compared to the 531,626 accounts recorded in 2014, but as industry expert Robert DellaFave observed on NewJerseyGamblingSites.com, the dip in registrations isn’t as drastic as it may appear:
“Although that may seem like an alarming drop-off, it isn’t unexpected, as the launch of the market in late 2013 brought with it an initial rush of signups. That early frenzy extended into the early months of the following year.
Taken in context, a dip of just 29 percent suggests that recent marketing initiatives have been successful in drawing a steady stream of new players to NJ online gambling sites.
Nearly 69 percent of players in the state use only a single online casino account, while almost 19 percent toggle between accounts on two different platforms. Just 3 percent of the player base maintains accounts on five or more sites, while 0.14 percent used all available platforms.
The study also found that just 28 percent of individuals who registered for an account ever actually play. Furthermore, of all new accounts created in 2015, only 94,353 came from within the jurisdictional boundaries of New Jersey.