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New Jersey has not slowed down, pandemic or no pandemic, and so far as the state’s sports betting and gambling activities go, they have done very well indeed. The sports betting market in the Garden State has hi more t $1 billion once again in terms of betting handle for the sixth month in a row with the March Madness results definitely having some part to play.
New Numbers Reveal Strong March
The numbers were released on Monday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement regulator and report that casinos and racetracks in the state managed to pull in $1.12 billion on wagers, with the college basketball season definitely proving a huge boost to the overall results.
However, sports bettors turned out to be a lot savvier than expected and only $66.4 million of the total betting revenue was retained by the casinos, with the rest issued back as winning wagers. The results were much better than March 2021, but with a small caveat. Last year, the casinos still had to deal with various health and safety mandates that are now mostly gone.
However, looking at March 2019, casino executives assured the industry is showing some consistent signs of recovery. In fact, casinos topped $382.9 million from all activities in March 2022 compared to just $273.7 million in March 2019.
The numbers are still somewhat inaccurate, though, casino executives caution that the money channeled through sports betting and interactive gambling comes with a big price tag as various partners need to be paid to keep the wheels spinning. When considering the overall results, seven of New Jersey’s nine casinos are still behind in terms of pre-pandemic performance criteria.
In-person gamblers contributed $216.6 million compared to 223.1 million back in 2019. Some properties found a silver lining, though. Hard Rock and Ocean, though, nabbed better results compared to pre-pandemic levels.
In-Person Gambling Ailing as Internet Gambling Improves
For example, Hard Rock won $39.3 million and Ocean won $25.4 million from in-person gamblers, up 60% and 67% respectively from 2019. Commenting on these market developments Hard Rock president Joe Lupo explained:
The Atlantic City market was down 3% compared to 2019 with seven of nine properties down 17% collectively, with only Hard Rock and Ocean showing increases.
Hard Rock president Joe Lupo
However, industry experts were aware of the increasingly “misleading” role that internet revenue plays in determining how well or how bad the Atlantic City casino industry performs. Lloyd Levenson Institute director Jane Bokunewicz noted that internet gambling is indeed going up whereas in-person casino proceeds aren’t necessarily growing.
The brick-and-mortar segment is indeed finding it harder to reach its pre-pandemic levels, but this may be okay. The internet industry has also gone up and New Jersey may just need to accept its new dynamic as a gambling state which is mixing both the land-based revenue with an online revenue.