Source Newsroom: Cornell University
Reneta McCarthy is a senior lecturer in services operations management at Cornell University, where she teaches “Introduction to Casino Operations.” She comments on New Jersey’s legalization of online gambling.
“In reality, I think the idea is to attract people who used to visit the casinos but are now currently gambling at casinos closer to home—namely in Pennsylvania. Atlantic City has suffered six straight years of revenue declines—off 42 percent from its peak of $5.2 billion in 2006 to $3 billion in 2012.
“Pennsylvania opened its first casino in 2006 and now has 11 casinos which I believe are attracting some of the gamblers who used to go to Atlantic City. We call those gamblers convenience gamblers because it is more convenient to go to a nearby casino than to drive to Atlantic City for their gaming fix. This year gross casino revenue in Pennsylvania surpassed that of Atlantic City for the first time making the state of Pennsylvania the second largest market in the U.S. after the state of Nevada.
“The new law currently limits internet gamblers to people physically located within New Jerseys borders, which does not help in recuperating gambling dollars from the convenience gamblers who live in Pennsylvania and who are going to Pennsylvania casinos. While there are provisions in the law to allow New Jersey to join with other states that allow Internet gambling, how likely is it that neighboring states will allow Internet gambling? And while Internet gaming is the ultimate convenience gambling option, it will be interesting to see if gambling online will provide a big enough substitute for players—both escape gamblers who are primarily slot players, and action seekers who are primarily card and dice players. Do they really want to sit at home and rack up the comps?”
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