Senator Joseph Pennacchio has reintroduced a bill, called SCR14, to the New Jersey Senate, aiming to bring slot machines to the state’s racetracks. This is not the first time Pennacchio has tried to get the bill passed, with previous attempts dating back to 2014. However, the bill has failed to advance, dying in committee in 2020 and 2022. Similarly, Senator Joseph Cryan’s SB2156, which seeks to restrict advertising for casino games and sports pools under certain circumstances, has also struggled to pass in the senate. Both bills have been referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee for further consideration.
These efforts to introduce slot machines and limit gambling advertising come at a time when New Jersey’s gambling industry is experiencing stagnation. While gambling revenue in the state increased by 9.4% year-on-year in November 2023, monthly revenue saw a decline of $4.7 million from the previous month. This drop in revenue is primarily attributed to a decrease in land-based casino revenue. MGM Resorts’ Borgata remains the most lucrative property in the state, but its casino win was down by 6.1% compared to the previous year.
Despite the challenges faced by the land-based casinos, online gaming has seen positive growth. The total gaming revenue from online platforms, casinos, racetracks, and their partners in the first 11 months of 2023 reached $5.3 billion, reflecting a 10.5% increase from the prior year. Golden Nugget had the largest internet gaming win in November, with a total of $50.1 million, marking a 32.9% year-on-year increase. This suggests that the future of gambling in New Jersey may lay more heavily on online platforms, potentially influencing the need for legislation to address advertising in the digital space and the introduction of slot machines at racetracks.