hat’s according to a Rutgers University study of New Jersey’s roughly three-year-old online gambling industry. The study was released late last month by Garden State gaming regulators, and it revealed some interesting data about the fledgling intra-state market.
New Jersey controls more than 90 percent of the regulated U.S. online gambling market. Nevada and Delaware are the only other states with real-money online casino-style gaming
New Jersey’s online gaming legislation allowed both casino games (blackjack, craps, slot machines, video poker and so on) and peer‐to‐peer poker.
There are five online gambling operators, with 14 skins (brands) between them. New Jersey has eight brick-and-mortar casinos, though it will soon have seven after the Trump Taj Mahal closes in October. That casino isn’t involved with online betting.
In New Jersey, about 5.3 percent of gamblers played exclusively online, compared to 19.2 percent that gambled both in Atlantic City casinos and on the Internet.
Out of the hundreds of thousands of online gambling accounts created for New Jersey sites, only 28 percent of account creators played for real money, the study found. While you must be physically located within New Jersey to play, gamblers across the world can sign up for New Jersey online gambling accounts.
A majority of gamblers (nearly 69 percent) were registered with only one gambling site and nearly 19 percent of players registered with two. Only three percent of players had accounts on five or more sites. Only 0.14 percent had accounts on all the platforms.
The study also found that 76.7 percent of players are men, leaving women with about 23 percent participation. However, when you look at the most valuable customers to the online casinos, it was about the same based on gender
Among the “top 10 percent” of online gamblers—those who were highest in total number of bets placed, total number of days gambled and total amount of money wagered—women actually represented more than half (53.39 percent) of online gamblers.
These customers (nearly 3,000 of them) are much more likely to play only online casino games (not poker) than your average New Jersey online gambler. Nearly 70 percent of big spenders didn’t touch peer-to-peer poker, compared to 43 percent among the bottom 90 percent of players based on the aforementioned metrics.
Those 3,000 customers averaged $500,000 in wagers for the year 2015. That’s not the amount lost, but rather the volume of bets. As mentioned, one gambler wagered $78.76 million during the calendar year. It’s unclear how much that gambler lost. New Jersey online casinos won about $150 million in 2015.
Thanks to the 24-hour nature of online gambling, it’s not surprising the the heaviest betting occurred during non-daytime hours. The mean wager by time of day among those playing casino games was largest between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. It was $5 per bet.
Overall, online casino gamblers wagered the most from 9 p.m. to midnight ($603 million). About $3 billion was bet on New Jersey gambling sites in 2015, with half of that coming from the 10 percent.
Nearly half of all online gamblers lived in the Gateway Region (Northeastern New Jersey), which has more than twice the population of any other region in the state. Less than five percent of New Jersey online gamblers are in the greater Atlantic City area.
Atlantic City has among the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the nation, which could be taken to new levels if state voters approve brick-and-mortar casinos elsewhere in the state. Atlantic City would still be the home to online gaming operations.
According to the study, there was a 98-year-old who gambled online in New Jersey last year. The mean age of all gamblers was 38.29 years. It was 35 for online poker.
New Jersey and the United Kingdom are currently in talks to share liquidity for online gambling, with an emphasis on poker. The number of unique online gamblers in the UK is estimated at more than two million.