New Jersey Sportsbooks End the Year on a High, Casinos Not So Much

New Jersey sportsbooks accepted over $1 billion in wager during December 2020. This is a surprising bit of news and comes as a refreshing change to an otherwise gloomy year. Casinos and sportsbooks remained shut for a major part of the year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, due to which revenue was down by almost 17%.

Over $6 billion worth of wagers were placed last year alone in New Jersey. And the development arrived following the historic Supreme Court verdict that paved the way for regulated sports betting in the country.

Sports Betting on a Record High?

According to the figures revealed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the state’s nine casinos and three horse racing venues collectively accepted over $996 million in bets during December. The total wager on slots and table games amounted to $2.64 billion in 2020.

By combining the revenue from both casinos and sports betting, New Jersey generated over $2.88 billion in revenue during 2020. While the figures are down by 16.9% compared to the same period last year, we must take into account the three-month closure between Q1 and Q2 for fair measures.

Although brick-and-mortar casinos in the state were allowed to reopen in July, capacity was restricted to 25%, and the regulation remains in place today. According to James Plousis, Chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, losses suffered during the first three months on lockdown were significant, and the industry will take a while to get back up on its feet.

“Significant revenue losses in the first three months of 2020 and restrictive measures enforced during the rest of the year massively impacted Atlantic City’s business. The stakeholders have been working tirelessly to recuperate and build a strong foundation for the future. As society begins to return to normalcy, Atlantic City will be ready to welcome guests in all its glory”, Plousis added.

Casinos Paint a Gloomy Picture

Out of all the properties in Atlantic City, Golden Nugget was the only one to post higher revenue figures in 2020 compared to 2019. The casino generated $415 million in revenue during 2020, an increase of over 10% compared to the previous year. On the other hand, Harrah’s recorded the maximum drop at 46.8% compared to 2019. The corresponding figure was a disappointing $166.3 million in 2020. Next in line, Caesars posted a 43.8% decline to $152.3 million.

According to Terry Glebocki, CEO at Ocean Casino Resort, “2020 was a challenging year for all of us. We’re optimistic about the future, and the 18% YoY growth in the face of adversity gives us hope. At a time when most businesses in the country are being forced to shut down or scale down operations, we’re extremely grateful to be able to post promising figures. Ocean Casino is actively investing in its properties and introducing new venues like the high-limit slot experience at The Cove”.

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