Last month, sports wagering and internet gambling in New Jersey reached record levels, surpassing $171.5 million in earnings from slots and online table games, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. The increased profits are due to the ongoing evolution and reduced dependence on traditional brick-and-mortar casinos in Atlantic City. In November alone, casinos and three horse tracks that accepted sports wagers amassed $1.62 billion in wagers, another record-breaking figure.
This data reflects a growing shift in gambling behavior in New Jersey, where in-person gambling at physical casinos has historically been the dominant form of wagering. Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, emphasizes that sports and online gambling accounted for nearly 45% of Atlantic City’s income in November. However, she believes that these new forms of gambling are complementary, rather than competitive, with traditional casinos.
Bokunewicz explained, “Rather than diminishing the brick-and-mortar gaming revenues, internet gaming and sports betting seem to be well-received consumer products that are filling a niche for certain gamblers.” While online gambling and sports wagering are on the rise, in-person gambling has not yet returned to pre-pandemic revenue levels. Only two of New Jersey’s nine casinos, Ocean Casino Resort and Hard Rock, earned more from in-person players in November compared to November 2019.
When combining revenue from online, in-person, and sports wagering, the total sum for November was $482.4 million, a 9.4% increase over the previous year. Notably, Golden Nugget’s online gambling division saw a significant increase in earnings, along with other casinos that generated substantial income from online gambling. Despite the growth in sports betting and online gambling, the total handle retained as income was only $96 million out of $1.62 billion worth of wagers.
In conclusion, the gambling landscape in New Jersey is rapidly evolving with the increasing popularity of online gambling and sports wagering. While traditional brick-and-mortar casinos remain a vital aspect of the industry, the rise of these new gambling options is reshaping the market and creating new opportunities for consumers and the gambling industry alike.