The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has released the April revenue figures for Atlantic City casinos, and they make for alarming reading. While online poker and online casino gaming had significant year-on-year increases, the New Jersey gambling industry as a whole took a massive revenue hit because of the coronavirus pandemic.
All of the Atlantic City casinos were closed for the entirety of April, meaning they took in no revenue whatsoever for the month. It has now been over six weeks since New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy mandated casino closures, and there has been no timetable set for a potential return to business.
While land-based gaming venues did no trade in April, New Jersey online casinos pulled in $80 million in revenue and sports betting posted $2.6 million. Those numbers mark a huge rise in online casino revenue, which more than doubled from April of 2019. However, the same cannot be said for sports betting, which recorded $21.2 million in revenue last April.
Sportsbook revenue was helped by the 2020 NFL Draft and niche offerings such as Russian table tennis and Belarusian soccer. Still, with the suspensions and cancellations of leagues and events around the world, there were simply far fewer bets available than usual. A little under $55 million was wagered last month at New Jersey sportsbooks, way down from the $313.7 million staked in April 2019.
One upside of the COVID-19 crisis is the rejuvenation of New Jersey’s poker industry. Online poker rooms enjoyed another spike in April with $5.1 million in revenue, up from $3.6 million in March.
In 2019, the New Jersey state government received $23 million in taxes from gambling. This April, that number was fell to $12.3 million. The hit would have been even bigger if not for the fact online gambling is subject to higher tax rates than land-based gambling in the Garden State.
Golden Nugget Online Casino had revenue of $27.6 million last month, accounting for more than a third of the market share among Atlantic City casino sites. Golden Nugget only had a 5.8% fall in overall revenue from April of 2019.