New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has championed the cause to bring regulated Internet gambling to his state. Now that online gambling is a reality in New Jersey, Christie stayed strong this week regarding his expectations from the industry.
Online casinos went live late last week in New Jersey, and the early returns have not been what was expected. The slow start, however, has not deterred Christie's prognostication for revenue. Christie still believes online gambling revenue will top $1 billion by next summer.
In the week since online gambling went live, the state reported over 37,000 accounts that have been created. The numbers, according to some experts, may not accurately represent how many people signed up at the online casinos.
"There were over a handful of casinos that went live last week, and gamblers tend to set up accounts at several different gambling locations," said analyst Travis Harken. "So while there were almost 40,00 accounts created, there is a good chance that a good portion of those accounts could be multiple accounts by individual gamblers at different online sites."
While the state monitors the first week of action, online casinos have come out strong in their effort to lure gamblers. Betfair, and several other online sites that have opened, have started ad campaigns on television stations aimed at bringing gamblers in.
During Monday Night Football on ESPN, Betfair ran ads touting the legality of online gambling in New Jersey, and encouraging gamblers to sign up for accounts. Betfair offered free play in exchange for initial deposits from gamblers. The ads in New Jersey have followed similar ads that are being run in Nevada.
"It's eye-opening," said Harken. "Gamblers in the US have never seen this type of advertising pressure for online gambling, and it is not yet known how they will react. Much like ads for other products such as liquor and automobiles, ads for online gambling during sporting events is viewed as an effective tool for marketers."