The legal online gaming industry is generating tax revenue, adding jobs and spurring technological innovation, with little of the negative impact once anticipated by opponents, according to a report that examines the effects of interactive gaming in New Jersey.

In their paper: “Economic Impact of New Jersey Online Gaming: Lessons Learned,” researchers Alan Meister, Ph.D., Nathan Associates and Gene Johnson, Victor Strategies, analyzed financial and sociological data accumulated since New Jersey legalized online gambling in 2013. The study—sponsored by iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA), a trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the U.S. online gaming industry, and peer reviewed by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas—finds that from its inception through 2016 New Jersey iGaming has directly and indirectly generated:

• $998.3 million in revenue;

• 3,374 jobs;

• $218.9 million in wages to employees; and

• $124.4 million in tax revenue to state and local governments (including $83.5 million in iGaming taxes).

The research also suggests that those benefits could be replicated in other regions.

“New Jersey’s experience provides valuable lessons for other U.S. states considering iGaming legalization,” said Jeff Ifrah, a leading gaming attorney and one of iDEA’s founding members. “The state’s operating environment and regulatory structure provides a portable model which can be implemented by other jurisdictions, bringing much-needed jobs and tax revenue.”

The study also finds that concerns raised during the initial debates have been unfounded. According to the report, there has not been a single major incident of online cheating or player fraud reported at any New Jersey iGaming website, iGaming has had no measureable impact on street crime in New Jersey and incidents of cybercrime have been extremely rare.

“New Jersey iGaming is also a success from a regulatory perspective, with some of the strictest iGaming regulation protocols in the world,” Ifrah said. “These regulations guarantee that operators are accountable, and that players can trust that they will be protected.”

The terms “online gaming” and “iGaming” refer to Internet for-profit games such as online poker, online bingo, online casinos, sports betting and lotteries. In the U.S., Internet gaming is a highly regulated industry and all businesses must be associated with a brick-and-mortar casino.

Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and the U.S. Virgin Islands currently offer legal online casino gambling. Additional states, such as California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, are considering legislation that would legalize online gaming.

For more information on the regulated online gaming industry and the new study, visit ideagrowth.org/.

iDEA (iDevelopment and Economic Association) is a group seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the U.S. through advocacy and education. iDEA is the first trade association to exclusively represent the interests of the online gaming industry in the U.S. iDEA is over 20 members strong, including Amaya, Catena Media, Continent8, Ezugi, Gamesys, Golden Nugget, GVC, Ifrah Law, IGT, NetEnt, NYX, PaddyPower/Betfair, Pala Interactive, PaySafe, Resorts, SciGames, Sightline, Tropicana and Vantiv.