Sports Betting, Online Casinos Continue to Drive New Jersey Gambling Industry
New Jersey saw another sports betting handle of over $300 million in April and online casino gambling was up 59 percent as Atlantic City casinos reported a 17 percent increase in revenue for the month to about $251 million. The state’s sports betting handle has topped $300 million for six straight months. The Tropicana sports book, which recently opened, at left.
New Jersey is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a federal ban on sports betting by announcing a sixth straight sports betting handle over $300 million in April.
Figures released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement said the state’s casinos and racetracks took in about $314 million worth of sports bets in April. The state has seen about $2.64 billion wagered on sports since it was legalized in June.
April was marked by the start of the NHL and NBA playoffs as well as Major League Baseball’s season.
Also up impressively was revenue from online casinos, which was up about 59 percent to $36.5 million.
As an example of how online betting is influencing the state’s market, Paddy PowerBetfair—which also operates the FanDuel sportsbook at The Meadowlands—announced its online casino revenue was up more than 83 percent for the first quarter to $11.7 million. Betfair’s online casino is offered through a partnership with the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, which is the state’s leader in the market.
Overall, the state saw an increase in gambling revenue of nearly 24 percent compared with a year ago, at over $265 million. Atlantic City’s nine casinos showed an overall increase of nearly 17 percent in revenue to about $251 million.
The figures are buoying Atlantic City just as it goes into its busy season, said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in a press release.
“Gaming and leisure customers have many options, both online and on site, and Atlantic City is positioned for a great summer season with its addition of new sportsbook lounges and other exciting amenities,” he said.
Among the casinos, according to an analysis by the Associated Press, the Golden Nugget saw its revenue increase in April by 3.7 percent compared with a year ago, to $29.3 million. The Borgata increased its revenue by 2 percent, to $58.8 million.
However, the effects of the opening of two new casinos in June 2018 continue to hinder other casinos. Resorts saw its revenue decline by 24.2 percent in April, to $13 million; Caesars was down 24 percent to $22 million; Tropicana was down 9.7 percent to $27.7 million; Harrah’s was down 6.3 percent to $27.2 million; and Bally’s was down 4.7 percent to $14.5 million.
For the new casinos, Hard Rock saw $25 million in revenue and the Ocean Casino Resort saw $16.3 million.
For racetracks that offer sports betting, the Meadowlands reported $12.1 million in revenue from sports betting after paying off winning bets in April. Monmouth Park in Oceanport NJ saw $2.5 million in sports betting revenue. Sports wagering revenue also brought in more than $6.5 million for Atlantic City casinos and their online partners in April.
And, as the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision passed, many in the state noted that it was New Jersey that challenged the federal ban and opened up a new gambling industry which has been thriving in the state.
“Just one year ago, I was thrilled to see the Supreme Court finally side with New Jersey and strike down the arbitrary ban on sports betting imposed by Congress decades ago,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy told the Press of Atlantic City. “Between job and revenue growth, capturing this formerly underground industry has breathed new life into our racetracks and casinos.”