Gaming revenue in New Jersey for August fell 7.5% lower compared to the same month last year, the Division of Gaming Enforcement announced recently.
The Garden State earned $326.3 million from overall gambling revenue in August, compared to $352.8 million in August last year. This is due to casino revenues dropping to $199.1 million, down about 30% from last August.
However, online gambling revenues more than doubled, climbing from the $41.1 million earned last August to $87.8 million this August, an increase of more than 110%.
Overall, gaming revenue in New Jersey is down 29% from the same period last year. So far, the gaming industry in the Garden State has brought in a little more than $1.6 billion this year. By the same time last year, it had generated close to $2.3 billion.
Like most businesses in New Jersey, Atlantic City’s casinos were forced to close for months, due to Governor Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 restrictions. They reopened for the July 4th weekend, but under a new set of restrictions, such as limited capacity, no indoor dining, and mandatory masks.
However, despite the revenue drop and ongoing restrictions, gaming revenue in New Jersey is benefiting the state with much-needed tax revenue. Taxes from gaming and sports betting brought in a total of $32.4 million for the month of August.
Sports Betting Revenue Also Strong in August
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported a month-over-month increase in gaming revenue across all segments in August, as the Garden State continues its recovery from the Covid-19 shutdown.
Focusing on sports betting, revenue totaled $39.5 million for the month of August, up 56.7% from $25.2 million last August and 33.9% higher than July’s $29.5 million.
Online sports betting remained by far more popular than retail sportsbooks in the state, with sports bettors placing $601.9 million in bets online, compared to just $66 million at retail sportsbooks. In total, sports bettors placed $668 million in sports bets during August, more than doubling the $315.1 million wagered last year.
Online Gaming Revenue in New Jersey in July
July was also an excellent month for online gaming revenue in New Jersey. For the month of July, the Garden State’s total gross online casino revenue was $87.49 million. However, while revenue from online casinos increased, online poker revenue decreased for both June and July.
Even though the year is a little more than halfway over, the gross gaming revenue in New Jersey for online casinos is predicted to be $1.4 billion, nearly triple the gross gaming revenue for the entire year of 2019. However, this will only be possible if the online casino industry in New Jersey continues at the same pace.
Despite the fact that the land-based gaming market is mature in New Jersey, online casinos may still surpass the total revenue for all land-based casinos last year.
The recent forced closures of all land-based casinos across the US obviously had a huge impact on the industry, spurring the recent surge of online casinos. But it remains to be seen whether online casinos will maintain the same pace, as attempts to normalize the economy post-COVID proceed.
Online Gaming Revenue in New Jersey Helps Economic Recovery
For Atlantic City and South Jersey, the economic destruction caused by the COVID-19 lockdown has been especially devastating. The region was experiencing its best year of economic growth and employment since 1984, and the forced shutdown has caused much damage to a region that relies heavily on small businesses, hospitality, and tourism.
While Governor Phil Murphy’s Atlantic City Restart and Recovery Working Group, which formed to help revitalize Atlantic City, may provide some hope, it will take a lot more than committee meetings to bring South Jersey’s economy back to normal.
Fortunately, the surge in tax revenue from online gaming and sports betting can help ease the strain until the casinos, small businesses and restaurants can fully reopen.