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New Jersey reintroduces bills to launch racetrack slots and restrict advertising

| By Kyle Goldsmith
Bills looking to establish slot machines at horse racing tracks and restrict advertising have been reintroduced to the New Jersey senate.
New Jersey

Senator Joseph Pennacchio’s bill, called SCR14, is an amendment looking to introduce slot machines at New Jersey racetracks. The bill also says revenue would be utilised to support the state in areas such as casinos and horse racing, as well as improvements to Atlantic City.

Pennacchio has introduced the bill on numerous occasions before, as far back as 2014. His efforts have so far been unsuccessful, however, with the bill also dying in committee in 2020 and 2022.

SB2156, meanwhile, introduced by Senator Joseph Cryan, has also failed previously to pass an iteration of the the bill through the senate.

In its latest form, SB2156 aims to limit advertising on casino games and sports pools in some circumstances. These include targeting self-excluded gamblers and children. The bill also aims to clamp down on “fraudulent” advertising, although it stresses “all other means and methods of advertising” will be left alone.

Both bills have been referred to the senate’s State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation committee.

New Jersey stagnating in 2023

The bills on slots and advertising in New Jersey come after a disappointing H2 2023 for the state’s gambling industry.

While gambling revenue in New Jersey increased 9.4% year-on-year in November 2023, monthly revenue was down $4.7m (£3.7m/€4.3m) from October’s $487.1m.

This came after October’s figures lagged 6.6% behind on September’s numbers. The decline in H2 2023 was largely down to a drop in land-based casino revenue.

According to November’s numbers, MGM Resorts’ Borgata remains the most lucrative property in the state, bringing in casino win of $51.7m. However, this was down 6.1% compared to November 2022. Bally’s saw the largest year-on-year growth, with casino win increasing more than 20%.

Meanwhile, Golden Nugget had the largest internet gaming win during November, totalling $50.1m. This was up 32.9% year-on-year.

Online gaming growth has been positive, though, with total gaming revenue reported by casinos, racetracks and their partners in the first 11 months of 2023 at $5.3bn. This reflected a 10.5% increase from $4.8bn reported in the prior year-to-date period.

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