Records tumble as New Jersey momentum heads into 2020

New Jersey’s 2019 trend of new records complemented by ongoing growth continuing into December, with gross gaming revenue for the year, including igaming and sports wagering, topping the $3bn barrier for the first time since 2012.

Boosted by December’s total of $287.3m, up 11 per cent year-on-year from $258.8m, the Garden State’s online casino segment almost made its first entry beyond the $50m ceiling.

Online casino games and poker generated a record $49.3m in December, up 70 per cent from 2018’s $29m, with its yearly total up 61.6 per cent to $482.6m (2018: $298.7m).

Golden Nugget continued to retain its place at the top of the igaming tree with $17.2m, followed by Resorts Digital, which secured a new record for the fourth straight month with $11.9m (2018: $4.3m).

On a land-based basis revenue for the month finished at $208.5m, down less than half a percentage point, with Borgata continuing to be head and shoulder above the rest with $54.9m (2018: $57.4m). 

“In 2019, Atlantic City saw gains across the board in gaming revenue, sports betting, internet gaming and tourism,” said Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey. “We hit several milestones over the last year, including New Jersey’s sportsbooks surpassing Nevada for the first time and significant internet gaming growth.”

New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks collected $557.8m in bets in December, a fraction shy of the record $562.2m handle set in November, according to the figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Revenue from sportsbooks reached $29.4m for the month, down from $32.9m in November, with full-year figures seeing $4.6bn in bets, of which $3.8bn (83.7 per cent) was generated online, with revenue finishing at $299.4m, including $244.5m online.

“2019 could very well go down as the last year that New Jersey was eclipsed by Nevada,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com. “From its proximity to the New York market to its pioneering online sports betting infrastructure, New Jersey’s positives as a sports betting market will continue to fuel its growth.”

FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet continues to pace the online market, tallying $12.1m in gross revenue, down from $12.2m a month earlier. The FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands leads the retail market.

“In addition to constant growth, one of the constants in New Jersey’s sports betting market has been FanDuel’s dominance,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com, added. “The brands under Resorts Digital have made it a relatively close second in the online market, but it has proven difficult to overcome FanDuel’s advantages, despite the brand recognition that comes from DraftKings and Fox Bet.”