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

Online Gaming Continues To Drive The Garden State's Gambling Market


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.

Tags: New Jersey,   Gambling,   Casinos