New Jersey’s January Gambling Revenues Hit Record High

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Total revenue from New Jersey online casinos, sportsbooks, and the nine Atlantic City casinos reached a record $559 million for January 2024, according to the latest data released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

That’s a 28% rise compared to January 2023, and 7% up on the previous record, set in November 2023.

That rise was mostly down to a huge increase in the overall sports betting handle and online casino play. Sports betting revenue was up a cool 136% year-on-year at $170.8 million.

On the flipside, physical New Jersey casinos’ revenues were down 3.1% year-on-year. Despite the narrowing gap, the Atlantic City venues did remain the biggest source of overall gambling revenue at $205 million.

All this activity also led to a record tax income for the state at $22.2 million for the month.

Online Betting Up, Atlantic City Down

Online casinos hit $183 million in revenue for the month, closing in on the Atlantic City casinos as the state’s biggest gambling revenue driver.

The $205 million from in-person gamblers in Atlantic City was down 3% on January 2023.

Out of the nine casinos, only three venues — Borgata, Hard Rock, and Ocean — had a better January 2024 than they did in January 2019, a time before the pandemic.

The cold New Jersey January, with brisk Atlantic winds, is never a record time for in-person casino gambling. The year also started out with some bad news for the city, as two people were fatally stabbed on the Boardwalk on New Year’s Day.

With Las Vegas booming throughout the year, it’s clear that Atlantic City isn’t capturing as many gamblers as it could.

Bally’s and Tropicana showed the biggest year-on-year declines in revenue over January. Bally’s won $10 million for the month, down 13%, while Tropicana was down 18% at $13.3 million.

MGM Resorts International’s Borgata was the most popular casino at $57.6 million in revenues. But that remained down slightly on January 2023.

Sports Betting Goes Huge

The year has gotten off to a good start for sports betting in New Jersey. Sportsbooks hit a new monthly record in handle and revenue.

The handle for the month stood at $1.72 billion, up on November 2023’s previous record. Some $47.4 million of that came from New Jersey retail sportsbooks, or about 2.96% of the overall figure.

Revenues stood at $171 million, for a reasonable hold of about 10%.

The leading operation was the Meadowlands racetrack, mostly powered by its online partners FanDuel and Fanatics’ PointsBet operation.

Between them, the two licensees made $113 million. New Jersey does not release licenses broken down by operators, but only by their tethered venues.

This is a record for Meadowlands licensees, smashing the previous record of $59 million in November 2021 by nearly double.

The Meadowlands also came to the New Jersey legislature recently as a possible new venue for slot machines in the state.

DraftKings and Resorts Digital made $40 million for January revenue in second place, followed by Borgata and BetMGM at $8 million.

Among a few losses for the month among sportsbooks was BetParx, partnered with Freehold Raceway, which lost more than a million to bettors in January.

This came also bearing in mind that the Super Bowl frenzy didn’t really kick in until early February, so the market could easily see even bigger numbers when the football betting stats are released next month.

Preliminary reports suggest Super Bowl LVIII betting handle in New Jersey could have gone as high as $140 million.

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