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New Horizons: New Jersey Casinos Break the Mold

New Jersey casinos witnessed a groundbreaking surge, raking in a staggering $1.62 billion in November, driven by the dynamic synergy between online options, sports betting, and traditional casinos. The industry's resilience and adaptability, showcased by a 9.4% year-on-year increase, redefine New Jersey as a tech-driven haven for gaming enthusiasts.
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Christian McDeen | Caesar of Lands of Betting and Live Casino

Updated: Jan 25, 2024

New Horizons: New Jersey Casinos Break the Mold

The gambling landscape in New Jersey is undergoing a seismic shift as online casinos and sports betting steal the spotlight, amassing an unprecedented $1.62 billion in November. The Atlantic City market, once tethered to the traditional allure of brick-and-mortar casinos, is now evolving into a tech-driven haven for gaming enthusiasts, embracing the winds of change. Is this a surprise? Not at all, as more and more casino players prefer to engage in casino activities on the go, from the comfort of their homes, and during their spare time without having to pay a visit to traditional land-based casinos.

According to the latest revelations from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the heroes of this narrative are the online table games and slots, contributing a remarkable $171.5 million to the monumental November revenue. Concurrently, the collaborative efforts of casinos and horse tracks embracing sports bets reached a staggering $1.62 billion, etching another record into the annals of the industry. Expectations are that these figures will go even further since software providers are investing heavily to launch more innovative casino products with more features and more winning opportunities.

These figures not only underscore the transformative prowess of technology but also spotlight a kaleidoscope of wagering options that are reshaping the gambling terrain in New Jersey. Jane Bokunewicz, the insightful director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, emphasizes that internet gaming and sports betting, accounting for 45% of Atlantic City's revenue, aren't adversaries to traditional casinos but rather dance harmoniously alongside them.

“While in-person gaming remains an irreplaceable experience, online options, and sports betting are thriving as consumer favorites, catering to a specific niche of gamblers,” remarked Bokunewicz. The resilience of brick-and-mortar gaming revenues amidst challenges signals not a faltering market but one standing firm on its foundations.

However, the surge in online and sports betting raises questions about its impact on the overall profitability of casinos. These revenue streams are collaborative efforts shared with partners such as sportsbooks and tech platforms, challenging the conventional wisdom that in-person gambling is the sole key business for casinos.

Interestingly, the key business of casinos continues to trail behind pre-pandemic levels, with only Hard Rock and the Ocean Casino resort surpassing their November 2019 in-person gambling revenues. November 2023 witnessed the total amount won from in-person, online, and sports betting combined reach $482.4 million, marking a 9.4% increase from the previous year.

The Golden Nugget, renowned for its robust online gambling operation, emerges as a phoenix in this narrative, securing over $50 million from internet casino games—a remarkable 33% increase from the previous year. Other notable online triumphs include Resorts Digital, the online arm of Resorts Casino, boasting a $47.2 million win (up 26%), and the Borgata, which secures nearly $38 million online (down 14.4%).

Zooming out to assess overall gambling revenue, including internet and sports betting, the Borgata leads the market with over $97 million in November, despite an 8.6% decrease from the previous year. Golden Nugget follows closely, clinching $61 million (up nearly 25%), while Hard Rock, Ocean, Tropicana, Harrah's, Bally's, Caesars, and Resorts each carve out their respective slices of the lucrative pie.

Focusing solely on money won from in-person gamblers, a similar trend surfaces. Borgata leads with $51.6 million, albeit a 6.1% decrease, followed by Hard Rock at $41.4 million (up 16.7%) and Ocean at $31.4 million (up 1.4%). Each casino paints a unique stroke on the canvas, showcasing their strengths and navigating challenges in the ever-evolving gambling landscape.

Notably, the total sports betting handle, representing the money bet on sports, hits a new high in November. Despite the $1.62 billion worth of bets, only $96 million remains as revenue after payouts and expenses. The Meadowlands Racetrack claims the lion's share, securing $57.6 million, while Resorts Digital, in partnership with DraftKings, celebrates a significant win, with over $19 million from sports betting.

As New Jersey's gambling scene unfurls its next chapter, the synergistic dance between online options, sports betting, and traditional casinos paints a vibrant tableau of a dynamic and resilient industry. It offers a diverse range of experiences for avid players, with the November surge standing not just as a financial triumph but as a testament to the adaptability and innovation that keep the Garden State at the forefront of the gambling world. Players are now invited to immerse themselves in an alluring array of options, beckoning them to explore the thrilling possibilities that New Jersey's evolving gambling landscape has to offer. The stage is set, and the players are ready for an encore in this ever-evolving saga of New Jersey's gambling prowess.

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