Participation in Gambling Surges, Reveals New Study on New Jersey

Posted on: September 29, 2023, 12:25h. 

Last updated on: September 29, 2023, 12:25h.

According to a recent study commissioned by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and conducted by Rutgers University, the gambling industry in New Jersey continues to attract new players. The study, titled “The Prevalence of Online and Land-Based Gambling in New Jersey,” was released by Rutgers’ School of Social Work, Center for Gambling Studies. It aims to guide prevention and education efforts in the state to address problem gaming and gambling addiction issues.

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A billboard for the Borgata is seen on the Atlantic City Expressway. A New Jersey study on gambling prevalence shows participation rates in the state are increasing. (Image: Garden State Outdoor)

The study surveyed over 3,500 New Jersey residents aged 18 and above between December 2020 and April 2021. Participants were asked about their participation in various legal forms of gambling, including lottery, casinos, online gaming, sports betting, fantasy sports, esports, and parimutuel wagering.

Participation Growing

One of the key findings of the study is that participation rates in gambling continue to rise. Sports betting participation, for example, increased from 15% in the previous study conducted in 2017 to over 19%. The legalization of sportsbooks resulted in a 4% uptick in participation. Additionally, the proportion of online-only gamblers nearly tripled from 5% to almost 15%, while gamblers who frequent both brick-and-mortar venues and online platforms doubled from 19% to 36%. The study also found a decrease in the number of players exclusively gambling at Atlantic City’s nine casinos, dropping from 76% to 49%.

Overall, the study revealed that more than 60% of New Jersey residents have participated in some form of gambling within the past year.

Problem Gambling Wins, Losses

Despite the increasing gambling rates, the study found a decrease in high-risk gambling from 6.3% in 2017 to 5.6%. The rates of low and moderate-risk problem gambling also declined by about two percentage points to 13%. However, it is important to note that New Jersey’s problem gambling rate remains three times the national average, with an estimated 6% of the state’s adult population suffering from a gambling disorder.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin emphasized the state’s commitment to addressing problem gaming and gambling addiction, stating that they are taking a comprehensive look at the pervasiveness of gambling and designing programs and initiatives to assist vulnerable populations.

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