Another record for New Jersey internet gambling revenue in March as in-person winnings struggle

April 16, 2024 9:01 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Wayne Parry, Associated Press
April 16, 2024 9:01 PM

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s high-flying internet gambling market continues to smash records. But the amount of money won from in-person gamblers at most of Atlantic City’s casinos is less than it was before the COVID19 pandemic.

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Figures released Tuesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show that the casinos and their online arms won over $197 million from online casino games in March, setting another monthly record.

And although it was not a record, sports betting, powered by the March Madness college basketball tournament, saw almost $1.33 billion worth of bets taken in March. That was the fourth-highest amount since sports betting became legal in 2018 following a U.S. Supreme Court decision in a case brought by New Jersey.

Including in-person casino winnings, internet gambling and sports betting revenue, the casinos, their online partners and horse tracks that accept sports bets won over $526 million in March, up 8.1% from March 2023.

But the casinos’ key metric, the amount of money won from in-person gamblers, continued to struggle. While the $239 million the nine casinos collectively won from in-person gamblers was up nearly 5% from a year earlier, and narrowly exceeded the total that all nine won in March 2019, before the pandemic hit, only two of the nine casinos individually won more in person last month than they did pre-COVID.

Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling market, said total gambling revenue for 2024 is “off to a solid start” over the first three months of this year, up 11% compared to the same three months last year.

The casinos care most about in-person winnings because they can keep all that money. By contrast, money won from internet gambling or sports betting must be shared with outside parties.

The Borgata won $56.5 million in person in March, down 8.1% from a year earlier. Hard Rock won $44.3 million, up 11%; Ocean won $40.6 million, up 17.6%; Harrah’s won $21 million, up 2%, and Tropicana won $19.8 million, up 2.5%.

Caesars won $18.5 million in person, up nearly 8%; Golden Nugget won $13.6 million, up 11.4%; Resorts won $13.4 million, up nearly 6%, and Bally’s won $11.7 million, up 11.2%.

When internet and sports betting revenue are added, Borgata won $106.6 million, down 6.1% from a year earlier; Golden Nugget won $70.6 million, up 28.2%; Hard Rock won $58.3 million, up 17.2%; Ocean won nearly $48 million, up over 21%, and Tropicana won $36 million, up 11.5%.

Harrah’s won $22.2 million, up 8%; Bally’s won $20.9 million, up 20.6%; Caesars won $18.7 million, up 10.2%, and Resorts won $13.6 million, up 8.4%.

Resorts Digital, the casino’s online arm, won $66.4 million, down 11%, and Caesars Interactive NJ won $6.4 million, down 23%.

The casinos and tracks kept just under $90 million in sports betting revenue after wining bets and other expenses were paid.