Despite brick-and-mortar gaming revenue suffering a year-over-year decline in September, New Jersey’s gross gaming revenue actually saw an increase thanks to the winnings from internet operators.
According to numbers released Thursday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, September’s total gaming revenue was $323.3 million. Those figures represent a 6.5 percent increase, which for most markets is unheard of in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
September’s numbers are actually down ever so slightly from the $326.3 million won in August, but still up considerably from July’s 248.7 million. July was the first month that gambling resumed in the state since the shutdowns in mid-March.
August’s numbers actually represented a 7.5 percent year-over-year decrease. With September’s increase, it snaps a six-month streak of falling revenue.
Outside of Maryland, which posted a nominal increase in September’s gaming revenue, most gambling markets are experiencing sharp downturns. Nevada casinos posted a 22 percent decrease in revenue in August.
The Garden State’s gross gaming revenue is comprised of the $87.6 million won by internet gambling operators, $190.6 million won by brick-and-mortar casinos and the $45.1 million in revenue from sports betting.
The internet gambling revenue more than doubled for the sixth consecutive month. It was up 113 percent compared to the $45.1 million won in September 2019. Sports betting revenue was up 19 percent, but the brick-and-mortar casinos witnessed a 15.1 percent decrease from last September when Atlantic City’s nine casinos won $224.5 million from gamblers.
The drop in brick-and-mortar revenue came from the 28.7 percent drop in table games revenue and a 9.6 percent fall in slot machine winnings. Even in-person sports betting was down 23.5 percent.
New Jersey sports bettors wagered $748.58 million on September’s sporting events. A whopping $678.7 million of that was bet on mobile apps or through online operators, proving how vital an online sports betting operation is to the health of a state’s market.
The massive sports betting handle broke a state record, which was set just a month earlier. September’s handle smashed the monthly record of $668 million, recorded in August.
With a 15 percent tax on internet gambling revenue and 8.5 percent on brick-and-mortar winnings, the state took $32 million of those winnings for the state coffers.
Even though brick-and-mortar casinos are still struggling to return to pre-coronavirus numbers, New Jersey’s Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis told the Press of Atlantic City that given the restrictions in place by Gov. Phil Murphy, there is reason for some optimism.
“These results were promising in the midst of continuing travel advisories that decrease visits from out of state, as well as restrictions on capacity, amenities and entertainment that have made 2020 not reasonably comparable to last year,” said Plousis.