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Covid-19 disruption erodes NJ revenue in April


The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has reported a 68.9% year-on-year drop in gaming revenue for April, after the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic shut down casinos and suspended sporting events.

Overall gambling revenue in the state amounted to $82.6m in April, down from $265.4m in the same month last year and also a drop of 49.5% from $163.5m in March of this year.

Casinos in New Jersey were unable to generate any gaming revenue during the month, having been forced to close from March 16, in line with state-wide orders to help combat the spread of coronavirus. Land-based casinos posted $207.6m in revenue in April of last year.

In terms of sports wagering, revenue from this sector fell $87.6m, with all retail sportsbooks unable to open in April and punters only able to place bets online or mobile. However, as only a handful of sports events have taken place during the outbreak, betting options have been severely limited.

Players wagered a total of $54.6m on sports in April, compared to $313.7m in the same month last year, while betting activity was also down by 66.6% month-on-month from $163.4m in March 2020.

Meadowlands, with its sub-licensees FanDuel and PointsBet, was led the sports betting market for April, with revenue amounting to $1.6m. Though this was 86.8% lower than $12.1m in April 2019, it was more than double the amount any other operator was able to post during the month.

Resorts Digital, which hosts DraftKings and Fox Bet under its New Jersey license, saw revenue decline 87.3% year-on-year to $604,359 in revenue. Monmouth Park was the only other operator to post revenue in excess of $100,000, with the $182,096 it generated being 96.9% lower than last year.

However, despite the sports betting and land-based casino markets suffering in April, the online gambling sector reported growth, with more players turning to these platforms as the more traditional forms of gambling were inaccessible.

Online gambling revenue for April totalled $80.0m, representing an increase of 118.6% from $36.6m in the same month in 2019. Revenue from peer-to-peer poker games rocketed by 208.7% to $5.1m, while other authorised games generated $74.8m, up 114.3% year-on-year.

Golden Nugget remained the market leader by some distance, posting $27.6m in online gambling revenue, up 99.5% on last year. Resorts Digital followed with $16.1m, a rise of 125.8%, while the Borgata saw its revenue jump 190.5% to $15.9m for the month.

In terms of the year-to-date, through to the end of April, total gaming revenue in the state was down 19.1% from $1.03bn in 2019 to $833.9m. Casino win fell by 38.4% to $495.6m, but sports betting revenue was up 2.3% to $86.4m and online gambling revenue 78.5% to $251.9m.