The $196.7 million internet gaming win posted by New Jersey’s 20 different casino and poker sites represented a 32.1 percent increase over the numbers posted in 2015, and helped push the total industry win up to to healthy $2.603 billion, representing a 1.5 per cent increase over the year before. This was the first revenue increase in the industry since 2006, when Atlantic City casino revenues posted a record high of $5.2 billion and business was booming.
Inside the numbers
But those dollar figures don’t tell the whole story and some real questions remain, like just who are the players that have helped turn Atlantic City’s casino industry around and where did they come from?
According to the Rutgers School of Social Work Center for Gambling Studies report on Internet Gaming in New Jersey released in 2016, it’s mostly men around the age of 40 from New Jersey.
In 2015, the study collected demographic information on almost 80,000 players who actually made bets on New Jersey casino sites and more than 70 percent of them were men. The average age of the players was 38, with more than 35 percent of men and almost 40 percent of women in the 25‐34 year old demographic.
The study also showed that the majority of the players were relatively loyal to the online casino where they initially signed up, with 69 percent registering with only that one single online gambling site. Almost 20 per cent of players registered with two different online casino sites, but just three percent signed up for accounts on five or more sites.
Looking at 2014 alone, the study showed more than 72,000 men and close to 22,000 women gambled online in casinos and poker rooms based in New Jersey. However, it also showed the difference between the numbers was smaller, at close to 60 percent men and 40 percent women, when it came to casino-only gamblers versus those that played poker and casino games as well. No matter what they played, the average age of the payer was around 40 years old in 2014, and ranged from 21 to 98 years old.
The Rutgers Center for Gambling Studies study also showed 378,103 people signed up for online casino accounts in 2015, down from 531,626 in 2014 when the online casino market opened up. However, it also revealed only about 28 per cent of those who signed up for accounts ever actually gambled.
Where are the players?
The study clearly showed that the overwhelming majority of players on New Jersey’s online gambling sites were residents of New Jersey as opposed to visitors to the state, which made up just 6.6 percent of online gamblers.
Of those players, close to half of all online gamblers were living in New Jersey’s Gateway Region at the time they signed up and played. It’s an obvious conclusion, considering the area has more than twice the population of any other in the state.
However, the Shore Region and Greater Atlantic City Region both posted significantly higher numbers than the areas population sizes would normally indicate. Plus, the state’s Skyland Region was actually underrepresented among online gamblers considering the size of its population.
Why play online?
In the end, the study concluded that the primary appeals of gambling on the internet include convenience, speed, 24 hour a day and seven day a week availability, and the comfort of gambling from home. It also concluded the online segment of the casino industry would grow, which the 2016 revenue figures have proven correct.