With the coronavirus decimating the brick and mortar gambling markets such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, one bright spot for localities the rely on the tax revenue generated from gambling has been a surge in regulated online gaming.
On May 13, 2020, “New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (“DGE”) published internet gaming and internet sports betting financial information for the calendar month of April 2020 in the state. New Jersey announced yet another record online gambling win.
For the month of April, the state’s internet gaming win was $80.0 million, compared to $36.6 million in the prior period in 2019, reflecting a massive year-over-year increase of more than 118%. The win is also up significantly, a $15 million increase, over March 2020.
Online poker revenues soared to a state record in April, reaching $5.15 million, up significantly from the $3.6 million the state raked in March 2020, during a partial closure. Caesars Interactive NJ, took in $8.7 million, nearly doubling its total from a year earlier. Online casino games also saw a huge increase.
April was the first full month that Atlantic City’s casinos were entirely closed and, as such, lead to a historic decline in total gambling revenue for the state. The coronavirus outbreak led to a nearly 69% decline in revenue at that nine casinos located in Atlantic City compared to the same month year earlier.
For the year-to-date period, the Industry’s Total Gaming Revenue was $833.9 million compared to $1.03 billion, reflecting a decrease of 19.1%. Internet Gaming Win increased 78.5% to $251.9 million when compared to the prior period.
The record revenue decline hit sports gambling especially hard. Sports wagering brought in just $2.6 million in revenue in April for the state based on $54.5 million worth of bets. In April 2019, nearly $314 million worth of sports bets were made in New Jersey.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that Atlantic City would shut down all of its brick-and-mortar casinos more than a month ago and has yet to announce a date when the Atlantic City casinos will reopen. There are approximately 25,000 casino employees currently out of work in the city.
Every casino in the resort town was hit hard. Borgata saw its revenue fall 73% to nearly $16 million during the month. Harrah’s and Caesars, reported no revenue at all for the month. Bally’s took in only $20,000 in sports betting revenue for an overall decline of 99.9% from a year earlier. The Ocean Casino Resort was down 92.5% to $1.2 million, most of it made online. Hard Rock was down nearly 82% to $4.5 million. Tropicana was down nearly 79% to just under $6 million. All locations do not have fully functioning online casino sites.
The Golden Nugget, due to a host of online gambling offerings, emerged as the winner during what will go down in history as Atlantic City’s worst month on record to date. It saw $27.6 million in revenue for the month, a decline of 6%.
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