New Jersey casinos generated record sports betting revenue of $1.62 billion in November

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CBS) – Internet gambling and sports betting set new records in New Jersey in November as Atlantic City’s gambling market continues to evolve and become less dependent on physical casinos, according to figures released Friday.

According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, casinos and their technology partners have won more than $171.5 million from online table games and slot machines.

At the same time, the casinos and three horse tracks that accept sports betting took $1.62 billion in bets in November – another record.

Taken together, these numbers provide new evidence that technology and a broader range of betting options are changing the way some people gamble in New Jersey, where in-person gambling at a physical casino has long been the primary way of betting.

Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies Atlantic City’s gambling industry, noted that internet and sports betting accounted for about 45% of Atlantic City’s revenue in November.

But it sees it as complementing brick-and-mortar casinos rather than competing with them.

“Rather than detracting from brick-and-mortar gaming revenues, internet gaming and sports betting appear to be well-received consumer products that fill a niche for specific players,” she said. “There will never be a replacement for the in-person gaming experience, and the current relatively low revenues from brick-and-mortar gaming may simply be evidence of a stable market.”

She said it remains to be seen how the rise in online and sports betting will affect casinos’ overall profitability. These revenue streams must be shared with partners such as sportsbooks and technology platforms and are not reserved solely for casinos. This is primarily why casinos consider the money won by in-person players as their main business.

And this key business continues to lag behind pre-pandemic levels. Of New Jersey’s nine casinos, only Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort won more from in-person players in November this year than they did in November 2019, before the pandemic hit.

When all the money won by the casinos and three racetracks in person, online and through sports betting are added together, total winnings in November were $482.4 million – a 9.4% increase from a year ago.

The Golden Nugget, which has long had a robust online gaming operation, won over $50 million from Internet casino games in November, an increase of nearly 33% over the previous year. Other big online winners included Resorts Digital, the Internet arm of Resorts Casino, which won $47.2 million, up over 26%, and Borgata, which won nearly $38 million online, a decline of 14.4%.

In terms of total gaming revenue, including internet and sports betting, market leader Borgata won over $97 million in November, down 8.6% year-on-year; Golden Nugget won $61 million, up nearly 25%; Hard Rock gained $52.4 million, up over 26%; Ocean gained $36.7 million, up 5.7%; Tropicana gained $28.5 million, up 8.2%; Harrah’s gained $20 million, down 2.3%; Bally’s gained $19.7 million, up over 29%; Caesars gained nearly $17.9 million, down 6.6%; and resorts gained $12.4 million, up nearly 1%.

Looking only at money won by in-person players, Borgata won $51.6 million, down 6.1%; Hard Rock gained $41.4 million, up 16.7%; Ocean gained $31.4 million, up 1.4%; Harrah’s gained $19.4 million, down 7.6%; Tropicana gained $17.8 million, down 6.8%; Caesars gained $17.5 million, down 7.7%; Resorts gained nearly $12.5 million, down 0.2%; Bally’s gained $12 million, up 20.4%; and Golden Nugget gained $11 million, down nearly 3%.

The total amount of sports bets, also known as “handles,” also reached a new high in November. But of the $1.62 billion in bets the casinos and racetracks took, only $96 million remained as revenue after winning bets and other expenses were paid out.

The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, just outside New York City and known for hosting a FanDuel sportsbook, won more than half of that, $57.6 million. Resorts Digital, with a connection to DraftKings, won over $19 million from sports betting.

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