Igaming, sports betting hits records in New Jersey in November; Casinos still mostly lag behind pre-pandemic levels – CDC Gaming reports


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Online gambling and sports betting set new records in New Jersey in November as Atlantic City’s gambling market continues to evolve and become less reliant on physical casinos, according to numbers released Friday.

More than $171.5 million has been won from table games and online slot machines by casinos and their technology partners, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Meanwhile, the three casinos and horse tracks that accept sports betting took in $1.62 billion in bets in November — another record high.

Taken together, these numbers provide new evidence that technology and a broader menu of betting options are reshaping the way some people gamble in New Jersey, where in-person gambling at a brick-and-mortar casino has long been the main way to bet.

Online and sports betting accounted for about 45% of Atlantic City’s revenue in November, noted Jane Bokonowicz, director of Stockton University’s Lloyd Levinson Institute, which studies Atlantic City’s gambling industry.

But she sees them as complementary to in-person casinos rather than competing with them.

“Rather than eating away at traditional gaming revenues, online gaming and sports betting appear to be well-received consumer products that fill a niche for some gamblers,” she said. “There will never be a substitute for the in-person gaming experience, and the current relatively steady revenues from traditional gaming may just be evidence of a stabilizing market.”

She said it remains to be seen how the rise in online sports betting affects the overall profitability of casinos. These revenue streams should be shared with partners like sportsbooks and technology platforms, and are not just for casinos. This is largely why casinos consider the money won from gamblers in person to be their main business.

These key businesses are still lagging behind pre-pandemic levels. Of New Jersey’s nine casinos, only Hard Rock Resort and Ocean Casino Resort won more from in-person gamblers this November than they did in November 2019, before the pandemic hit.

When all the money won in person, online or from sports betting at the casinos and three racetracks is totaled, the total amount won in November was $482.4 million — an increase of 9.4% from the previous year.

Golden Nugget, which has long had a strong online gambling operation, won more than $50 million in online casino games in November, up about 33% from a year earlier. Other big online winners included Resorts Digital, the online arm of Resorts Casino, which won $47.2 million, up more than 26%, and Borgata, which won nearly $38 million online, down 14.4%.

In terms of overall gambling revenue, including online and sports betting, market leader Borgata won more than $97 million in November, down 8.6% from a year earlier; Golden Nugget won $61 million, up nearly 25%. Hard Rock won $52.4 million, up more than 26%. Ocean won $36.7 million, up 5.7%. Tropicana won $28.5 million, up 8.2%. Harrah’s won $20 million, down 2.3%. Bally’s won $19.7 million, up more than 29%. Caesars won nearly $17.9 million, down 6.6%; Resorts won $12.4 million, an increase of just under 1%.

When looking at money won from in-person gamblers only, Borgata won $51.6 million, down 6.1%; Hard Rock won $41.4 million, up 16.7%. Ocean won $31.4 million, up 1.4%. Harrah’s won $19.4 million, down 7.6%. Tropicana won $17.8 million, down 6.8%. Caesars won $17.5 million, down 7.7%. Resorts won nearly $12.5 million, down 0.2%; Bally’s won $12 million, up 20.4%. Golden Nugget won $11 million, down about 3%.

The total amount wagered on sports, known as the “handle,” reached a new high in November as well. But of the $1.62 billion in bets taken by casinos and casinos, only $96 million was retained as revenue after paying out winning bets and other expenses.

Meadowlands Raceway in East Rutherford, outside New York City and known for hosting FanDuel Sportsbook, won more than half that amount at $57.6 million. Resorts Digital, a subsidiary of DraftKings, has won more than $19 million from sports betting.

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