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Covid-19 closures continue to hit NJ revenue in May


Enforced casino closures and the suspension of sporting events due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic led to a further year-on-year drop in gambling revenue in the state of New Jersey during May.

Total gaming revenue for the month amounted to $95.9m, down by 65.4% from $276.8m in May 2019, but up 15.7% from $82.9m in April this year.

All brick-and-mortar casinos and sportsbooks remain temporarily closed in New Jersey, in line with state orders to combat the spread of Covid-19. New Jersey has been one of the hardest-hit states in the US, reporting 169,441 positive cases and 12,733 related deaths, at the time of writing.

As such, and as was the case in April, casinos remained closed throughout the month and generated no income, having generated revenue of $222.9m in May 2019.

However, online sportsbook platforms meant operators were able to continue to accept sports bets throughout the month, though the sports schedule remained limited due to the ongoing postponement of many events.

In total, sports betting revenue for May amounted to $9.9m, down by 36.2% from $15.5m last year, but a significant improvement on April’s revenue of $2.6m. Consumer spending fell 63.1% year-on-year to $117.8m, though more than doubled month-over-month.

Meadowlands was the leading operator in terms of sports betting, posting $4.2m in revenue for the month, down 51.7% from last year. Resorts Digital followed in second with $4.1m in revenue, down 7.3%, while Borgata actually saw revenue rocket by 308.9% to $694,326.

All operators also saw significant year-on-year growth within the online casino sector, with total revenue for vertical jumping 124.1% to $85.9m. Revenue from peer-to-peer poker games rose 151.2% to $4.5m, while other authorised games generated $81.4m, up 122.8% year-on-year.

Golden Nugget led the way with $29.1m in online casino revenue, up by 106.4% from last year, while Resorts Digital also saw revenue jump 121.6% to $17.7m. Other stand-out performers in this market included the Borgata, where revenue rocketed 182.4% to $16.7m, and Caesars Interactive on $9.4m for the month.

For the year-to-date to the end of May, overall gambling revenue in New Jersey stood at $929.7m, down 28.9% from $1.31bn at the same point last year. Casino win was 51.8% lower at $495.6m and sports betting revenue was down 3.6% to $96.3m, but online casino win was up 88.3% to $337.8m.