New Jersey casino and sports betting revenue was nearly $510 million in May, up 8.3%

June 14, 2024 3:34 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Wayne Parry, Associated Press
June 14, 2024 3:34 PM
  • Wayne Parry, Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s casinos, horse tracks that take sports bets and their online partners won nearly $510 million from gamblers in May, an increase of 8.3% from a year earlier, according to figures released Friday by state gambling regulators.

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Internet gambling continued its strong performance in May, falling just shy of the record it set in March.

And while the casinos’ core business — money won from in-person gamblers — collectively surpassed the pre-pandemic total of May 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak, only three of the nine casinos won more from in-person gamblers last month than they did in May 2019.

“May provided a promising start for the summer season, and positive momentum has been building,” James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission said in a statement. “Consumer interest has been strong, driven by must-see unique investments recently made in the casino hotels.”

Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling industry, said in a statement that the revenue totals are encouraging, but cautioned that they don’t necessarily mean higher profitability for the casinos.

“While revenues increased, so have expenses, and while revenues for the month and year-to-date compare favorably to prior periods, they may not translate into similar increases in gross operating profit down the line,” she said. “Inflation impacts both operators, in the form of costs of goods and wages, and consumers, in the form of prices. So it is especially interesting that, even in times of inflationary pressure, consumers still seem willing to spend their discretionary money with New Jersey’s casino operators.”

Figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show the nine casinos won nearly $223 million from in-person gamblers, an increase of 5.2% from a year earlier.

The casinos consider this type of revenue to be their core business because money won from sports betting or internet gambling must be shared with third parties, including tech platforms or sports books, and is not solely for the casinos to keep.

But only three casinos — Borgata, Ocean and Hard Rock — won more from in-person gamblers last month than they did in May 2019, which has been a continuing concern for the Atlantic City casino industry as a whole.

In terms of in-person winnings, Borgata won $61.4 million, up 1.5% from a year earlier; Hard Rock won nearly $50 million, up 28.6%, and Ocean won nearly $32 million, up 7.5%. Tropicana won $20.1 million, down 7%; Harrah’s won $18.2 million, down 4.2%; Caesars won nearly $18 million, down 2%; Resorts won $13.6 million, up 1.2%; Golden Nugget won $13.5 million, up 7.1%, and Bally’s won $12.4 million, down 5.8%.

When sports betting and internet gambling money are included, Borgata won nearly $111 million, down 0.3%; Golden Nugget won $68.1 million, up 21.2%; Hard Rock won nearly $64 million, up 32.6% and Tropicana won $39.3 million, up 16.5%. Ocean won $39.1 million, up 16.5%; Bally’s won $23 million, up 14.3%; Harrah’s won $19.8 million, up nearly 4%; Caesars won $17.5 million, down nearly 5%; and Resorts won $13.5 million, down 0.4%.

Among internet-only entities, Resorts Digital won $71.3 million, up 17.6%, and Caesars Interactive Entertainment NJ won $332,123, down 96%.

The casinos and tracks took nearly $839 million worth of sports bets in May, and kept $78.7 million of that as revenue after winning bets were paid out.

The casinos and tracks have taken in over $6 billion worth of sports bets so far this year, keeping $513 million of that as revenue.

Internet gambling brought in $192 million in May. That was up 19% from a year earlier, and just below the record of $197 million set in March.