New Jersey online casinos fall shy of record pace as sports betting slows

New Jersey’s online casinos and poker rooms enjoyed further year-on-year growth in April, but fell shy of the record revenue generated just one month earlier. 

The Garden State’s digital gaming ecosystem secured revenue of $107.7m during the 30 days, which represents a 34.8 per cent uptick from the $80m recorded in April 2020 but drops from the record $113.7m generated in March. Total gaming revenue for the month came in at $352.2m (2020: $82.5m).

Borgata, which includes the BetMGM brand, led the way with $32.8m in revenue on online casino games and poker in April, more than double that of the $15.9m reported in May.

Golden Nugget Online Gaming fell a fraction short after a 17.3 per cent increase from $27.6m saw it finish up at $32.4m, with Resorts Digital in third with $19.6m, a 21.7 per cent increase from $16.1m.

On a land-based basis, it’s Borgata who still leads the way with $38.5m, ahead of Hard Rock’s $35.2m, and the $22.1m secured by Ocean Casino Resort. There’s no year-on-year comparison due to 2020 shutdown mandates to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“The battle for market supremacy was something that would have been hard to predict before the pandemic, but 2020 has really shaken up the way people interact with casino games, perhaps forever,” noted Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com

“With restrictions in Atlantic City going away, though, this could mark the ceiling of the online market. But a more reasonable expectation is a moderation of the exponential growth that began in spring 2020, rather than an end to it.”

New Jersey’s sportsbooks accepted $748m in wagers in April, which is down 13 per cent from $859.6m in March, but up 1,270.1 per cent over $54.6m in bets taken in pandemic-marred April 2020.

In the first month of a seasonal dip that analysts say should last into August, operator revenue dropped 9.9 per cent to $54.8m in April from $60.8m in March. April’s action yielded $8.1m in state taxes.

Since launching, New Jersey sportsbooks have generated $15.2bn in handle, $1.04bn in revenue, and $151.4m in state taxes.

“Considering the challenges, particularly in 2020, $15bn in wagering and $1bn in revenue are incredible yard sticks that really drive home just how successful the New Jersey market has been,” added Ramsey.

“At least until New York launches its sports betting industry, New Jersey seems untouchable as the nation’s largest market.”

Online betting accounted for 91.1 per cent, or $681.2m, of April’s handle, with FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet topping the market with $25.5m in gross revenue.

Retailers generated $66.8m in wagering, which is down from $79.5m in March, with Meadowlands/FanDuel top of the table with $3.6m in revenue.