New Jersey Sees Historic Surge in Gambling Revenue Amidst Changing Landscape

In a month marked by unprecedented highs for New Jersey’s gambling industry, the state shattered multiple revenue records in January, signaling a robust start to 2024. However, amidst the celebration, there was a notable occurrence as traditional in-person casino earnings experienced a decline.

Internet Gambling and Sports Betting Reach Historic Highs in New Jersey

According to ps released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, January saw remarkable spikes across key metrics. Internet gambling revenue surged to a historic $183 million, marking a nearly 20% increase from the previous year, reported Associated Press. Sports betting also saw a monumental rise, with earnings reaching nearly $171 million, reflecting a staggering uptick of more than 136%.

While these numbers are cause for celebration, they also underscore a shifting landscape in the gambling industry. James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, highlighted the enduring impact of online gaming and sports wagering, emphasizing their role in providing a competitive advantage to operators, especially during traditionally slower periods like Atlantic City’s off-season.

The meteoric rise of online channels can be partly attributed to external factors such as harsher winter weather, which likely diverted brick-and-mortar activity towards digital platforms. 

Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, noted this trend, suggesting that the surge in internet gaming and online sports betting totals could be a consequence of adverse weather conditions.

New Jersey’s In-Person Gambling Struggles Amidst Online Success

However, despite the remarkable performance in online segments, the core concern remains the decline in earnings from in-person gamblers. In January, in-person casino winnings totaled just over $205 million, reflecting a 3.1% decrease from the previous year. This downward trajectory is compou ph646 nded by the fact that in-person earnings continue to lag behind pre-pandemic levels, a trend observed since early 2020.

The disparity in performance among Atlantic City’s casinos further highlights the evolving dynamics within the industry. While newer establishments like the Borgata, Hard Rock, and Ocean reported gains in in-person earnings compared to four years ago, two-thirds of the city’s casinos are still grappling with lower revenues from traditional gambling activities.

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Despite these challenges, the overall outlook for New Jersey’s gambling industry remains optimistic. The state’s casinos and tracks collectively recorded $1.71 billion in sports bets in January, setting a new record and surpassing previous benchmarks. This achievement underscores New Jersey’s resilience and reaffirms its position as a leading player in the legal sports betting landscape, alongside states like New York and Nevada.

In December 2023, New Jersey’s gambling industry saw significant growth across all segments, with total gaming revenue reaching $522.2 million, marking a 14.8% increase from the previous year.