New Jersey’s casinos, horse tracks that take sports bets and the online partners of both types of gambling won nearly $471 million in May, up 9.4% from a year earlier according to figures released Monday by state gambling regulators.
But the amount of money won from in-person gamblers, which the casinos consider to be their key metric, was down 2.4% from a year ago, to $227.3 million.
And only three of the nine casinos — Borgata, Hard Rock and Ocean — won more money from in-person gamblers this May than they did in May 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling market, said that although overall in-person gambling revenue was down in May, it was still higher than it was in May 2019.
“This is the continuation of a return to pre-pandemic levels, but not the amount of growth many may have hoped to see from this sector,” she said. “Traditional gaming products like slots and table games are not growing as quickly as newer products, for example, online slots and mobile sports betting. This hints at a lasting change in consumer behavior as casino patrons have made these newer products part of their regular casino experience.”
James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said internet gambling and sports betting helped make up for some of the weakness in on-premises gambling results.
“While most of the casinos won less at the gaming tables and slot machines, it was still Atlantic City’s second-best May in nine years,” he said. “This year, Atlantic City’s total gaming revenue reached $2 billion faster than any other year in the past decade.”
Casino executives caution that money won from internet gambling and sports betting is not solely theirs to keep; as much as 70% of such winnings must be shared with partners including sports books and technology platforms, they say.
In terms of in-person casino winnings, internet and sports betting winnings, the Borgata won over $111 million in May, down 1% from a year ago. Golden Nugget won $56.2 million, up 18.2%; Hard Rock won $48.1 million, down almost 1%; Ocean won $33.5 million, up 21.3%; Tropicana won $33.7 million, up 9.3%; Bally’s won $20.1 million, up nearly 20%; Harrah’s won $19.1 million, down 10.3%; Caesars won $18.4, down 9.5%; and Resorts won $13.6 million, down 2.5%.
In terms of money won from in-person gamblers, Borgata won $60.5 million, down 4.5% from a year earlier; Hard Rock won $38.7 million, down 6.5%; Ocean won $29.7 million, up 17.3%; Tropicana won $21.6 million, down two-tenths of a percent; Harrah’s won just over $19 million, down 10.3%; Caesars won $18.3 million, down 9.6%; Resorts won $13.4 million, down 5%; Bally’s won nearly $13.2 million, up 4.2%, and Golden Nugget won $12.6 million, down 1%.
Resorts Digital, the online arm of Resorts casino, won $60.6 million, up nearly 48% from a year ago. The other internet-only entity, Caesars Interactive NJ, won $8.3 million, down 14%.
The casinos and three horse tracks that accept sports bets took nearly $779 million worth of sports bets in May. Of that total, $82.1 million was kept as revenue after winning bets and other expenses were paid out.
Internet gambling brought in $161.4 million in May, up 18.7% from a year earlier.