New Jersey Online Casinos, Sportsbooks Win $97M in June
Posted on: July 15, 2020, 08:48h.
Last updated on: July 15, 2020, 11:34h.
Online casinos and mobile sportsbooks in New Jersey once again proved beneficial to Atlantic City’s nine gaming resorts, as brick-and-mortar operations remained suspended in June.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) revealed this week that online casinos won just shy of $85 million last month. That’s a 123 percent year-over-year boost. Sportsbooks added $12.6 million, up 30 percent, for a total haul of $97.6 million.
All nine Atlantic City casinos were closed throughout the month on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) orders. The venues were permitted to reopen in reduced capacities as of July 2.
Under new regulations, each casino must limit the number of occupants to 25 percent of its typical maximum. Slot machines have been rearranged to promote social distancing, and plexiglass dividers have been installed at table games. Food and beverages are also banned on the casino floor.
Murphy ordered casinos to close on March 16. Eight reopened this month, and Borgata will join them on July 26.
The more than three-month shutdown has resulted in gross gaming revenue (GGR) dropping 60.8 percent year-to-date. Casinos have won $767 million fewer dollars from their land-based operations through June 2020 than they did through June 2019.
Internet gaming has at least provided some revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mobile sports betting has been an additional assist. Though there have been limited sports to bet on — oddsmakers turning to Belarus soccer, Ukrainian table tennis, and darts — New Jersey sportsbooks have won nearly $109 million through the first six months of the year. Sports betting is, somewhat surprisingly, down only 0.6 percent year-to-date.
Golden Nugget once again led the way in internet GGR. The online casino and sportsbook won $29.6 million last month. Resorts was second at $21 million.
Drop in the Bucket
After 108 days of being dark, Atlantic City began reopening ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend. Though it’s a vastly different experience for gamblers today compared to pre-coronavirus, operators are nonetheless excited to be back in business.
Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen says that traffic has been somewhat slow at the company’s casinos and restaurants throughout the country — including in Atlantic City — but once a guest does visit, he says they’re likely to return after seeing the health safety protocols.
We definitely have seen a reduction in trips,” Allen explained on CNBC. “However, when we do see the guest visit us, frankly trip frequency then does start to increase, because I think we’re doing a pretty good job at making them feel comfortable.”
But the closures haven’t only hurt the casinos. State taxes from gaming through June totals $112.7 million. Through June 2019, the state had collected $136.5 million — a loss of $23.8 million.
“June was the last full month of casino closures, and the figures reflect the historic business disruption across the region and beyond,” Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis said of the June revenue data.
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