Is legal sports betting the key to Atlantic city rising from the murky depths one again?
After just a single hour of oral presentations at the US Supreme Court, it seems more than likely that New Jersey, and several other states as well, will soon be able to offer 100% legal sports betting. And even though a decision will only be made in July 2018, many operators are already forging ahead with the hopes of establishing their brand before any of their competitors have even set up shop. We are optimistic about the first legal NJ sportsbetting sites launching by December 2018.
NJ Sportsbetting Sites: "We're moving ahead, getting ready to go."
Said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill U.S.
We anticipate that along with NJ online casinos, the long time racetracks will transform overnight into Vegas-style race and sportsbook betting centers. But the problem for many of the places that are being converted to meet the incoming need is that they are just not big enough to cater for the demand forecasters are predicting.
In the eighties, Atlantic City was on the rise. It was the Las Vegas of the East Coast. In fact many would have bet their bottom dollar that it would soon become the gambling capital of the world and that Las Vegas would soon be known as the Atlantic City of the west coast.
Atlantic City’s popularity coincided with an unprecedented construction boom that reached its zenith with Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal, said to worth in excess of $1.2 billion.
However, this highpoint was followed by a low point. Just a single year later The New York Times reported that the Taj Mahal had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. By the nineties Atlantic City was a shell of its former self. Construction had come to a standstill. Gaming, however, still stood strong. In fact gaming revenue managed to increase every year during the nineties. And then at the dawn of the 21st century, the city got its first Vegas-level casino, The Borgata. By 2006 Atlantic City was once again on the way up, with 12 casinos combining total a state record of $5.2 billion.
Thanks to a severe recession and increasing competition from neighbouring states, 5 of the city’s 12 casinos were forced to close their doors. Gaming revenue dropped by 50% and over 10,000 jobs were lost. 10 years later and the casinos brought in just $2.6 billion. The good news is that 2016 was the first year that gaming revenue did not go down in last decade. And a lot of that growth can be credited to sports betting.
Only time will tell if this rise is just the prelude to yet another crash or if lessons have been learnt and the undeniable growth of legal sports betting is sustainable. What cannot be denied is that if legal sports betting in New Jersey is a success, it’s just a matter of time before other states follow suit.