Online gambling revenue set another record in New Jersey last month as the state’s virtual operators reported $118.7 million worth of gross earnings, according to numbers released by state gaming regulators.
July’s figures broke the previous record set in March when gamblers lost $113.7 million on the virtual tables. It is a sizable 35.7% jump from the $87.5 million won by operators in June. Despite the market’s growth, online poker’s popularity dipped from $4.8 million in revenue in July 2020 to $3.1 million last month.
During the first few months of the reopening process last year, Atlantic City casinos didn’t reopen poker rooms. The largest poker room in the city is at Borgata, and the room didn’t reopen until October 21, 2020. With live poker as an option again, a chunk of New Jersey’s online player pool returned to the live felt.
“This could show that patrons have not lost their appetite for internet gaming products even as they return to the in-person experience, or that more people overall are participating in different gaming options,” Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University told CBS Philadelphia.
Through the first seven months of the year, internet gaming revenue is $752.9 million, good for an increase of 98.4% year-over-year. Online earnings made up 26.3 percent of the state’s total gaming numbers as the overall market won $450.6 million, good for a 70.4 percent year-over-year increase from July 2020.
The year-over-year increase is somewhat irrelevant as Gov. Phil Murphy only started allowing brick-and-mortar casinos to reopen in July 2020 and the state’s highest-grossing casino resort, Borgata, delayed its opening after Murphy banned indoor dining at the properties. The state’s online market was booming during the shutdown, however, and there is still significant growth in that sector this year.
In the coming months, year-over-year comparisons will be a much more accurate reflection of the market’s growth. The Garden State’s brick-and-mortar gaming operators still posted total revenue of $276.9 million, which was more than the entire market, online included, during that time period a year ago.
Regardless of the year-over-year comparisons, it was still a large jump from June’s $392.8 million. Sportsbooks reported eight figures worth of gross earnings, winning $55 million from sports bettors.
Borgata held its spot as the highest-grossing casino in the state with $63.85 million. Hard Rock Atlantic City was behind Borgata with $47.7 million. Golden Nugget reported the least amount of revenue of any brick-and-mortar facility with $15.5 million, but its online division, which was bought by DraftKings about two weeks ago, was second-best in the state with $33.5 million.