February 26, 2023
January Numbers Bode Well for New Jersey Gaming Market
New Jersey’s gambling industry is starting 2023 with a bang, showing a profit in both in-person and online casinos. In January, physical casinos took in $211.6m, up 15.3% from the same period the previous year, while online casino revenues reached $152.9m, with BetMGM and Golden Nugget’s online casinos leading the way.
- Atlantic City brick-and-mortar casinos start 2023 strong.
- New Jersey online casinos bring a strong showing in 2022 into January.
- Early numbers for the New Jersey/Michigan Multistate poker agreement are promising.
Early numbers show a promising start for the New Jersey gaming industry. A profitable month for many online casinos as well as the Atlantic City Boardwalk suggests that the state is building on New Jersey’s successes in 2022. Let’s take a closer look at January’s gambling numbers for New Jersey:
Atlantic City Boardwalk Shows Profits in January
Atlantic City’s brick-and-mortar casinos won $211.6 million from in-person gamblers in January, a 15.3% increase from one year ago. January is generally considered the weakest month for the city’s casinos. This year’s relatively strong performance could help quell concerns for the New Jersey gaming revenue in 2023. Monthly revenue from physical casino gaming is also higher than it was in January 2020, which saw $192.1 million in winnings.
“Even considering only brick-and-mortar (revenue), Atlantic City’s casino operators have reason to be hopeful,” Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, told NBC Philadelphia. The Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University studies the Atlantic City gambling market.
When revenue from internet gambling and sports betting is included, the casinos, horse tracks that take sports bets, and their online partners won $436.8 million, up 14.5% from a year ago. However, only three of the nine casinos won more that way last month than they did in January 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic erupted.
Casino executives warn that revenue figures from internet gambling and sports betting — most of which is also placed online — are misleading because the revenue generated from those forms of gambling is spread thin. New Jersey casinos share as much as 70% of online gambling profits with third parties, including sportsbooks and tech platforms.
Overall, in-person gambling revenue, which the casinos consider their most important economic indicator, surpassed the level of January 2020 just before the coronavirus began spreading widely ($192.1 million). It approached January monthly revenues not seen since 2012 ($245.9 million) and 2011 ($255.4 million), when there were more Atlantic City casinos in operation, and no sports wagering or online gambling to compete with.
In terms of in-person casino revenue alone, the Borgata won $58.3 million, up 20.6% from January 2022. Hard Rock won $35.9 million, up 3.4%; the Ocean Casino Resort won $30.5 million, up 26.4%; Harrah’s won $20.1 million, up 15.9%; Caesars won $16.8 million, up 5%; Tropicana won $16.2 million, up 11.9%; Bally’s won $11.5 million, up 31.4%; Resorts won $11.1 million, up 20.1%; and Golden Nugget won $10.9 million, up 5.6%.
Once you factor in internet and sports betting revenue, Borgata won $105.9 million, up 14.7%; Resorts Digital, the online arm of Resorts casino, won $52.9 million, up 22.5%; Golden Nugget won $51.6 million, up 10.1%; Hard Rock won $43.2 million, up 2.2%; Ocean won $34.6 million, up 31%; Tropicana won $24.9 million, down 3.1%; Harrah’s won $20 million, up 14.5%; Bally’s won $16.4 million, up 63.7%; Caesars won $16.3 million, up 2.2%; Resorts won $10.8 million, up 14.4%, and Caesars Interactive NJ won $8.2 million, down 17.6%.
Only three of the nine Atlantic City casinos won more from in-person gamblers in January than they did four years ago in the pre-pandemic state: Borgata, Hard Rock and Ocean.
New Jersey casinos and horse tracks took in nearly $1.1 billion worth of bets in January, led by wagers on the NFL playoffs and the NBA. Of that total, $87.5 million was kept as revenue after paying off winning bets and other expenses.
The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, just outside the gambling competition from New York City, won $47.7 million from sports bets, up 24.2% from a year earlier. Monmouth Park in Oceanport, near the Jersey Shore, won nearly $2.2 million, up nearly 282% from a year earlier; and Freehold Raceway won $1.6 million, down 38.4%.
Overall, the results suggest that the Atlantic City casino industry “is still very much in a rebuilding and recovery phase from where it was three years ago,” Mark Giannantonio, president of Resorts Casino and president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, told NBC Philadelphia.
New Jersey Online Casinos
While retail casinos were profitable in the Garden State, other forms of betting were also lucrative in January. In fact, the overall total was $436.9 million, with $152.9 million coming from online poker and online casinos.
BetMGM had impressive gross gambling revenue for January 2023 at $38,782,206. That’s an 11% increase—or $1.6 million—over December 2022’s revenue.
The six online casino websites partnered with Golden Nugget Hotel Casino and Marina generated $41 million in gross gambling revenue in January 2023 compared to $38 million during December 2022. That’s a 7.44% month-to-month increase.
The Borgata’s 10 licenses took a dip in revenue to $40,798,884 in January. That’s a 6.65% decrease compared to December’s $43,706,888. Still, Borgata’s YoY iGaming revenue rose 4.32% in January 2023.
However, January’s biggest success story was the Tropicana Atlantic City license, with a 32.48% gross gambling revenue increase from $5.9 million in December 2022 to $7.8 million in January 2023. That license only partners with one site: Caesars Sportsbook and Casino.
Other New Jersey online casino license gross gambling revenue numbers of note include:
- Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, $5.1 million
- Caesars Interactive Entertainment New Jersey, $8.3 million
- Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, $6 million
- Ocean Casino Resort, $3.9 million
New Jersey’s newest entry into the gaming market—multistate poker—also had a strong January showing. New Jersey’s online poker revenue increased 24.76% in January 2023 vs. December 2022 following PokerStars New Jersey’s merger with its Michigan online casino.
On January 1, PokerStars used the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) to unite its Michigan and New Jersey player pools. Perhaps as a result, online poker generated $2.7 million in gross gaming revenue in January. December 2022, poker rooms saw $2.2 million, for comparison.
The January 2023 figure also brought the year-over-year comparison of New Jersey online poker revenue into positive territory, with a 5.96% increase over January 2022’s $2.6 million.
Although online poker is a small percentage of iGaming revenue, it continues to show growth alongside the New Jersey online casino market. Online casinos alone saw $150 million in gross gambling revenue in January, a 0.59% climb over December’s $149 million, More significantly, January’s year-over-year improvement was 10.99% higher than January 2022’s $135 million.
Overall, New Jersey’s online casino and poker sites generated $153 million in January. That’s 0.93% more than December’s $151 million.