New Jersey online casinos reach $2bn landmark as rebound accelerates

Buoyed by the July reopening of casinos, retail sportsbooks and racetracks, New Jersey’s gaming market returned to a situation more resembling normality, although PlayNJ analysts assert that a full rebound will still take some time. 

As major sports also began to return to screens across the US, sportsbooks in the Garden state posted their best performance since February with online casinos soaring past the $2bn landmark in lifetime revenue.

“It will take some time before Atlantic City rebounds from the closures of the last few months, but we have at least turned a corner in the market with the return of the retail sector,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com

However, online casinos and sportsbooks should drive the overall market as long as the pandemic continues. A big month for both in July only emphasises that reality.”

July’s $87.5m in online casino and poker revenue was up 122.5 per cent from $39.3m in July 2019 and topped the $85.9m revenue record set in May, yielding $13.1m in state and local taxes.

Online casinos and poker have now generated $2.01bn since the industry launched in November 2013, producing $302.3m in state taxes.

Golden Nugget takes its online dominance to another month with $31.4m in revenue, ahead of Resorts Digital’s $18m and $15.2m recorded by Borgata.

It was Hard Rock that came out on top as the land-based sector staggered it’s reopenings throughout the month, with the property’s revenue of $24.5m (2019: $38.7m) coming in ahead of Ocean Casino’s $23.6m (2019: $19.2m) and the $21.2m (2019: $29.7m) recorded by Harrah’s. Previous market leader Borgata finished with $8.3m (2019: $80.7m) after reopening on July 26.

“$2bn in revenue and $300m in taxes show just how vital online casinos have become for New Jersey,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com. “Especially after the last few months, it’s a sobering thought to imagine where the state’s gaming industry would be without online gambling.”

The Garden State’s online and retail sportsbooks collected $315.1m in wagers in July, up 25.3 per cent from $251.4m in July 2019 and 91 per cent from $165m in June. Gross revenue rose 65.2 per cent to $29.6m from $17.9m year-on-year.

Online sportsbooks took in 93.9 per cent of the state’s July handle, with FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet the market leader again with $12.2m in revenue. Retail sportsbooks drew $19.3m in bets, with the FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands out on-top with $1.9m.

“August should be an unusually busy month for sports betting, and that will help make up a bit of the $1.6bn in wagers that have been lost so far,” added Ramsey. “The leagues have to stay healthy, though, or we will be right back to where we started.”