NJ: Record Sports Betting Handle for Third Month in a Row

New Jersey sports betting continued to gather speed in October, the latest revenue report from the Division of Gambling Enforcement (DGE) showed, posting the highest amount of wagers on sport nationwide for a third month in a row.

Setting the Pace in Sports Betting

Figures released Friday by the DGE revealed casinos and the three horse race tracks licensed to accept wagers on sports accepted total bets to the amount of $803 million for the month, breaking above the previous national record of $748.5 million set again in New Jersey in September.

On a sequential basis for the last three months, sports betting handle in the Garden State is slowing the pace a bit, having grown just above 12% from August, $667.9 million, to September, and 7.28% from September to October. In August, the state took the mantle in terms of highest monthly wagered on sports amount from Nevada, beating its record handle of $614 million set in November 2019.

Atlantic City’s casinos and horse race tracks in the state kept after paying winnings and expenses 7.28%, $58.5 million, from the total handle for the month, up 26% compared to October 2019. That figure should not be considered out of its context, which is that usually the casino or the race track is sharing this money with its sportsbook provider and other third party vendors.

Gambling Revenues

Winnings from sports betting, along with online gambling revenue, provided a breath of fresh air for the gaming operators, which generated a total revenue of $338 million for the month, up 15% on a year-over-year basis, but registered a slump in revenue from in-person gambling, $186.1 million, down 8% compared to October the prior year.

“Casino win was 92% of last October’s performance, even though the two years are not reasonably comparable. During this time, Atlantic City continues to show resilience in the face of necessary and ongoing restrictions on capacity, amenities, and entertainment.”

James Plousis, chairman, New Jersey Casino Control Commission

Atlantic City’s nine casinos have been subjected to limited capacity of 25%, after the state imposed rules aimed at curbing the further spread of the coronavirus. As of Thursday, new restrictions were added to the frame, prohibiting indoor dining and drinking after 10pm, as a result of which the city’s top casino, the Borgata laid off 73 workers and reduced working hours for another 349 members of staff.

The biggest monthly gain for the month, up 37% year-over-year, to $29.1 million, was posted by Ocean Casino Resort. The gambling establishment completed 12 months of gaming growth, Ocean CEO Terry Glebocki outlined, thanking the casino patrons for their loyalty during these hard times.

Hard Rock generated $35.4 million, up 25.6% compared to October 2019, Golden Nugget’s revenue of $38.6 million was up 21.2% year-over-year. The Borgata’s revenue grew to $67.5 million for the month, 10.5% higher than in October last year, while Tropicana registered a modest growth of 3.5%, to $27.2 million.

On the other side, Harrah’s, Bally’s, Caesars and Resorts all posted declines in revenue, ranging from 19.5%, to $19.4 million, 17.1%, to $11.4 million, 12.5%, to $19 million, and 7%, to $11.5 million, respectively.

Revenue from online gambling operations more than doubled during the month, to $93.4 million, implying a switch from land-based to internet gaming.

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