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New Jersey’s reinforced its position as the US leading sports wagering market in September. Its impressive growth continued, taking in more than $748 million in bets from sports gamblers. Like most other states, it hit full stride by being able to take advantage of all four major US sports playing simultaneously along with the beginning of the NCAA College Football season.
Figures released last Thursday from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement showed Atlantic City’s nine casinos and the horse racing tracks that offer sports betting handled those $748 million in total bets, easily surpassing the national monthly record they set in August when $668 million was wagered on sports. Both figures easily eclipsed what had been the US record of $614 million set in Nevada during November 2019.
In the month of September total gaming revenue including casino games was $323.3 million. Those figures represent a 6.5% increase from the previous month, which is quite significant in respect to our Covid-19 pandemic situation.
September’s revenue numbers are actually down slightly from the $326.3 million total won in August, but still up significantly from July’s $248.7 million figures. It marked the first month that gambling totally resumed in New Jersey since the Coronavirus shut down in mid-March. New Jersey casinos are currently limited to a 25% occupancy as a precaution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ won $64M in September, down 2.8% from the year prior. Golden Nugget won $37.5M, up 16.3%; the Hard Rock Casino won $35.8M, up 12.5%; the Ocean Casino Resort won $29.5M, up almost 22%; Tropicana won $26.1M, down nearly 10%; Harrah’s won $19.5M, down 26.6%; Caesars won $18.9%, down 1.8%; Resorts won $13.9%, down 7.5%; and Bally’s Casino won $12.9M down 15.6%.
The Atlantic City Ocean Casino showed the largest percentage increase in September revenue. CEO Terry Glebocki reported it was due to several factors including:
The combination of Labor Day weekend and the return of indoor dining, limited to 25%, afforded us the opportunity in September to continue the momentum created here at Ocean…Our guests have enjoyed dining again at their favorite restaurants within our casino resort, and our year-over-year gaming revenue growth of nearly 27% is indicative of the successes we have achieved.
Many in the state were enthused by September’s performance including James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. He was heartened by the pace of recovery of casino gambling revenue.
James Plousis said:
Casino win was 85 percent of last September’s performance, aided by the reopening of casino restaurants on September 4, and the resumption of food and beverage service on casino floors. These results were promising in the midst of continuing travel advisories that decrease visits from out of state, as well as restrictions on capacity, amenities, and entertainment that have made 2020 not reasonably comparable to last year.
No one could dispute the effect of Covid-19 restricting most gamblers toward online gaming play. The Garden State’s gross gaming revenue was comprised of a significant $87.6 million won by internet gambling operators, $190.6 million won by brick-and-mortar casinos. Of that $45.1 million in revenue from sports betting.
Internet gambling revenue more than doubled for the sixth consecutive month. Up 113% compared to the $45.1 million won in September 2019.
Sports betting revenue was up 19%, however, the brick-and-mortar casinos experienced a 15.1% decrease from September 2019 when Atlantic City’s nine casinos won $224.5 million. The decrease in brick-and-mortar revenue came from the 28.7% drop in table games revenue and a 9.6 % decrease in slot machine winnings. Overall, in-person sports betting was down 23.5%.
With Coronavirus pandemic conditions remaining in October along with the NFL season, NCAA College Football season continuing plus the Major League Baseball playoffs extended it is expected that records again will likely be broken in New Jersey.
Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
Email: [email protected]
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