By Skip Charles in Vegas
New Jersey’s casinos, race tracks offering sports betting, and their online partners reported a total revenue of nearly $471 million in May, representing a 9.4% increase compared to the same period last year, according to figures released by state gambling regulators.
However, in-person gambling revenue, considered a key metric by casinos, decreased by 2.4% from the previous year, amounting to $227.3 million.
Out of the nine casinos, only Borgata, Hard Rock, and Ocean recorded higher in-person gambling revenue in May 2023 compared to May 2019, indicating the lasting impact of the pandemic. While overall in-person gambling revenue declined slightly, it still exceeded the pre-pandemic levels seen in May 2019.
Jane Bokunewicz, Director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, commented on the shifting dynamics in consumer behavior, stating, “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, acknowledged the role of internet gambling and sports betting in compensating for the decline in on-premises gambling results.
He noted that despite the decrease in table and slot machine winnings, Atlantic City achieved its second-best May in nine years, with total gaming revenue surpassing $2 billion faster than in any previous year of the past decade.
However, it’s important to note that casino executives emphasize that internet gambling and sports betting winnings are not entirely retained by the casinos themselves, as a significant portion, up to 70%, must be shared with partners such as sportsbooks and technology platforms.
In terms of in-person casino winnings and online and sports betting revenue, Borgata led the pack with over $111 million in May, followed by Golden Nugget with $56.2 million, and Hard Rock with $48.1 million.
Ocean experienced substantial growth, recording $33.5 million in winnings, while other casinos also saw varying results.
When it comes to in-person gambling revenue, Borgata earned $60.5 million, followed by Hard Rock with $38.7 million and Ocean with $29.7 million.
Resorts Digital, the online arm of Resorts Casino, experienced a significant surge, achieving $60.6 million in revenue, reflecting a nearly 48% increase compared to the previous year.
Figures demonstrate the ongoing challenges and adaptations within the gambling industry as it navigates the post-pandemic landscape.