Sports Betting Handle Dips, But New Jersey Gaming Revenue Stays Flat In February

Gross gaming revenue in the Garden State remained flat year-over-year in February as operators reported winning a combined $288.3 million from the state’s gamblers, according to numbers reported by the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Those figures are nearly identical to the $287.3 million operators won in February 2020, up just 0.3%. Once again, it was the internet gaming revenue that paced the market with $93.8 million in revenue. Online numbers were up 80.4% compared to the $52 million won from gamblers a year earlier.

In January, online gambling made up one-third of the total gaming revenue as the state saw a 15.3% increase year-over-year.

Sports betting revenue was up a whopping 171.8% year-over-year as books won $46.2 million. Sportsbooks earned that sum after handling $742.9 million in sports bets, which was good for a 6% hold rate. Even in the sports betting world, online has taken over with $689.2 million of the total handle wagered through an online or mobile platform. Year-to-date, gamblers have bet $1.7 billion on sporting events with $1.575 billion of that coming online.

DraftKings was the most successful sportsbook in New Jersey with a $27.2 million in revenue. The company has a brick-and-mortar sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack but does most of its business online.

Despite the Super Bowl taking place in February, there was a sizable dip in the sports betting handle from the prior month. In January, the total amount of sports bets accepted in New Jersey nearly eclipsed the $1 billion mark. February’s handle was down $253 million from the first month of 2021.

Atlantic City’s brick-and-mortar market continued to struggle in a post-COVID-19 world as live casino revenue was down 32.1% with the nine casinos combining to win $148.2 million.

Borgata was once again the highest-grossing casino in the state with $36.95 million in revenue. It held the top spot, but those numbers represented a 35.8% drop from its numbers a year ago. Every other casino in the city also posted a year-over-year decline. Those numbers could start seeing an uptick soon as Gov. Phil Murphy announced a relaxing of COVID-19-induced restrictions last week.

Golden Nugget saw the biggest percentage drop with $8.8 million in revenue, good for a 45.6% dip in casino revenue. Hard Rock Atlantic City was the closest property to record an increase with just a 1.7% fall from last year with $23.6 million.

However, Golden Nugget Online Gaming, a spin-off from Tilman Fertitta’s brick-and-mortar enterprise, was the most successful online casino in the state with $27.9 million. It edged out Borgata’s virtual platform, which pulled in $25.7 million.

Through the first two months of the year, total gaming revenue is up $634.4 million compared to $587.8 million in 2020. The difference comes from the breakdown of that revenue with live casino revenue down 24.8% and internet gaming revenue up 84.5% over the same timeframe.




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