ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey gamblers wagered more than $931 million on sports in November, the latest in a string of monthly records set by a rapidly growing market that’s closing in on the $1 billion-a-month mark.
Figures released Monday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement show New Jersey’s sports betting industry set a national record for the most money bet on sports in a month for the fourth consecutive month.
It easily surpassed the $803 million that New Jersey gamblers bet on sports in October.
Atlantic City’s casinos, the three horse tracks that offer sports betting, and the state’s robust internet gambling industry saw nearly $289 million in revenue in November, a figure that does not include money bet on horses.
That represented a 5.6% decline from November 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, when casinos were operating without restrictions. The nine casinos are currently operating at just 25% of capacity and must stop serving food and drinks at 10 p.m. under state mandates designed to help slow the spread of the virus.
“The resurging public health crisis drove down business in Atlantic City during November,” said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “I applaud all of the properties for their continued diligence in adhering to the Governor’s mitigation directives for the safety of their employees and guests. As I regularly tour the properties, I’ve been pleased to see the continuing efforts that are being taken to maintain a clean and safe environment.”
The in-person casinos are seeing their revenue fall significantly amid the restrictions. Revenue from slot machines and table games inside the nine casinos was $146.5 million in November, down nearly 35% from a year earlier.
The Ocean Casino Resort was the only physical casino to post a revenue increase in November, up 5.2% to $23.7 million.
Declines ranged from 3.2% at Golden Nugget ($35.1 million) to nearly 55% at Caesars ($12.8 million.)
Internet gambling continued to be a bright spot for Atlantic City’s casinos, providing nearly $92 million in revenue in November, an increase of nearly 87% from a year ago. Without that money the casinos’ finances would have been hit even harder.
Online gambling has continues to grow in New Jersey and elsewhere during the pandemic as some gamblers prefer to take their chances from a phone or laptop rather than in person.
Two internet-only entities saw steep revenue gains in November. Resorts Digital was up 77% to $35.6 million, and Caesars Interactive-NJ was up nearly 76% to $8 million.
Despite the gaudy numbers, very little of the $931 million taken in by the casinos and tracks — called “handle” — represented profit. After sports books paid off winning bets and related expenses, those millions worth of bets generated $50.5 million in revenue for the sports books in November.
About half of that went to the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, near New York City, which saw $24.8 million in sports betting revenue for the month. It is affiliated with FanDuel for sports betting. Resorts Digital, which partners with DraftKings, saw $14.6 million.
Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, near the Jersey Shore, saw $3.1 million in sports betting revenue, and the newest entry into the market, Freehold Raceway, reported nearly $144,000 in revenue in November. It has yet to launch its online sports betting operation in New Jersey; more than 80% of all sports betting is done online in New Jersey.
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