Sports Betting and Internet Gambling Thrive in New Jersey, but Casino Revenue Still Lags


Summary: September saw near-record levels of sports betting and internet gambling in New Jersey, with almost half of the Atlantic City casinos winning more money from in-person gamblers than in September 2019. However, the core business of the casinos, casino floor earnings, has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels in five out of the nine casinos. The industry as a whole is facing challenges beyond the pandemic, including inflation, changes in consumer behavior, and the expansion of new gaming products. Despite this, brick-and-mortar gambling continues to dominate the revenue share of Atlantic City casinos.

Sports betting and internet gambling in New Jersey reached near-record levels in September, boosting the overall revenue of the Atlantic City casinos. According to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, nearly half of the casinos reported higher in-person winnings than pre-pandemic levels in September 2019. While this is an encouraging sign for the industry, the five remaining casinos are still struggling to catch up.

Experts point out that the challenges faced by the casinos extend beyond the impact of the pandemic. Factors such as inflation, gas prices, changes in consumer behavior, and the expansion of new gaming products have all contributed to the industry’s slow recovery. However, despite these challenges, brick-and-mortar gambling has shown consistent growth year over year and continues to be a significant source of revenue for Atlantic City casinos.

The September revenue for Atlantic City’s in-person casinos was slightly affected by a cyberattack targeting several casino companies in the region. Nonetheless, it was still the third-highest result for September since 2012. When internet and sports betting revenue is included, the total amount won from gamblers in September exceeded $521 million, representing a 7.5% increase from the previous year.

Casino executives argue that these figures can be misleading, as online and sports betting revenue must be shared with other parties, including tech platforms and sports books. Therefore, the actual profit that the casinos keep is significantly lower than the reported amount. When considering in-person revenue, the Borgata, Hard Rock, Ocean, and Harrah’s reported gains, while Tropicana, Caesars, Resorts, Bally’s, and the Golden Nugget saw decreases.

Internet gambling also experienced substantial growth in September, with revenue reaching nearly $164 million, a 21% increase from the previous year. However, some internet-only entities, such as Resorts Digital and Caesars Interactive Entertainment NJ, reported mixed results.

In conclusion, while sports betting and internet gambling continue to thrive in New Jersey, the casino industry is still grappling with the lasting effects of the pandemic. The challenges faced by the industry extend beyond the pandemic itself, making a full recovery more difficult. However, the resilience of brick-and-mortar gambling and the steady growth in revenue provide hope for the future.

Tags: New Jersey, sports betting, internet gambling, Atlantic City casinos, casino revenue, pandemic impact