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Online Casino Gaming Has Surged In NJ, Which Makes Things Complicated from NJ Online Gambling's John Brennan

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In the first full year of online casino play in New Jersey in 2014, the new form of gambling made up 4.5% of the Atlantic City casino industry’s gross gaming revenue bottom line.

Just a cherry on the top of the casino balance sheet, really. But the annual growth — which eventually became exponential — turned online casino dollars into the controversy of the year in the industry in 2021.

Highlighting the controversy, Atlantic County officials recently filed a lawsuit that is headed for a court hearing next month.

The suit stems from passage of a casino tax break bill in the last days of the state legislative session this month. It staggered across the Senate finish line by one vote, then gained immediate signature into law by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The winning gambit may have been outgoing state Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s insistence, while speaking before a committee earlier this month, that up to four of the city’s nine casinos could close if the tax break wasn’t granted. That stirred up nightmarish memories of 2014, when four Atlantic City casinos did close, decimating the regional economy.

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