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iMEGA Releases Study on New Jersey Internet Gambling

16 February 2011 by admin

harrahsarialAs everyone is waiting for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to sign the online gambling bill, it seems that everyone has an opinion on whether he should or shouldn’t sign it, whether he will or won’t and why. Personally, I think the bill will become law without his signature, but we’ll have to wait and see.

In an effort to gain his support and influence his decision, the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) has released a study on the potential economic impact of legalizing intrastate online gambling in New Jersey. As you might expect from a group that lobbies for bills like the one in question, their study finds that it would be quite beneficial to the state.

iMEGA commissioned the study, which was conducted by Econsult Corporation. They then released the results of the study, titled “Potential Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Proposed New Jersey Intra-State iGaming Bill.” It seems that Econsult are the type of people who use annoying terms like “iGaming” and feel a need to put an unnecessary hyphen in the word “intrastate.” Still, what they have to say is important.

According to the study, bringing intrastate online gambling to New Jersey would, in the long term, lead to a creation of 57,000 new jobs, $7 billion in revenue for the economy and $472 million in tax revenue for the state. Short-term benefits could be between $210 million and $250 million in gross gaming revenue, $55 million in tax dollars and 2,000 new jobs.

But it gets better than that. Joe Brennan, chairman of iMEGA, says that “the economic benefit has the potential to extend far beyond the available gaming tax yield.” He says that by becoming the first state to regulate intrastate online gambling, New Jersey would become “the business hub of a burgeoning new industry.”

Brennan sees New Jersey as becoming the major destination for all online gambling related businesses, seminars, conventions and more. Tourism would increase, and along with it tourist revenue. They would also make a lot of money by “exporting services to and generating income from gamers throughout the country.”

The new budget deficit for New Jersey is predicted to be anywhere between $8 billion and $11 billion. Worse yet, Standard & Poor recently downgraded New Jersey’s credit rating from AA to AA-, one of the lowest in the United States. That means it will be more difficult and expensive for the government to borrow money and will further under-fund the state’s pensions. It seems that New Jersey needs the extra financial benefits of intrastate online gambling now more than ever.

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