While there are now several US states that legally allow online casino gambling, it’s New Jersey that continues to blaze a trail for others to follow.
You can find out more about New Jersey online gambling sites in detail here, with this market having continued to enjoy record-breaking growth throughout 2020 to date.
We’ll explore this in the post below, while asking how the reopening of brick-and-mortar casinos in Atlantic City will impact on the iGaming market in NJ?
How NJ set a brand new revenue record in July
Online gambling sites in New Jersey certainly enjoyed a stellar July, with this four-week period providing the culmination of steady and concerted growth through 2021.
More specifically, the state’s online operators reported gross earnings of $118.7 million in July, according to official numbers released by the state gaming regulators.
Interestingly, July’s figures broke the previous record set as recently as Match, when gamblers lost $113.7 million on virtual tables and slots in the state. The figure also highlights a sizable 35.7% increase from the $87.5 million won by operators in June, although there was at least some bad news as online poker saw its revenue decrease from $4.8 million in July 2020 to a relatively paltry $3.1 million last month.
Through 2021, the figures also make for interesting reading, with the total online GGY having peaked at $752.9 million during the first seven months of the year.
Overall, this accounts for a year-on-year increase of 98.4%, as online earnings grew to comprise 26.3% of the state’s total gaming numbers while the market banked the cumulative amount of $450.6 million.
This also represented a 70.4% increase year-on-year, which is highly impressive by anybody’s standard at first glance.
Unsurprisingly, Borgata dominated both the on and the offline numbers, with its combined revenue peaking at a whopping $106.6 million in July.
To create some much needed perspective, the brand’s closest rivals (the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City) trailed way behind with total revenue of just $55.5 million, so there’s no doubt that the Borgata brand leads the way in an increasingly accessible and safe iGaming marketplace.
Putting the numbers into context – what do we learn?
Of course, the year-on-year comparison is a little unfair, especially as most Atlantic City venues were closed for significant periods of time during the coronavirus pandemic for much of last year.
In fact, Governor Phil Murphy only initially allowed brick-and-mortar casinos to reopen their doors in July 2020, while the state’s highest-grossing casino resort (Borgata) delayed its opening after the governor banned indoor dining at NJ properties,
Conversely, the state’s market was booming during the shutdown, especially as gamblers who would usually stake their hard-earned bankroll offline started to wager regularly at online casino locations.
This makes year-on-year comparisons slightly irrelevant, and the figures recorded during the coming months and remaining quarters of 2021 will offer a more accurate reflection of the iGaming market’s growth and the status of brick-and-mortar gambling in New Jersey.
Regardless of this, however, the iGaming GGY recorded in June and July were still considerably higher than 2020 and 2019’s figures, suggesting that online casinos have remained immensely popular even as land-based establishments have started to reopen their doors to patrons.
“This could show that patrons have not yet lost their appetite for Internet gaming products,” said Jane Bokunewicz, who’s the director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University.
In an interview with CBS Philadelphia, Bokunewicz also said that people are continuing to wager online “even as they return to the in-person gambling experience”.
She continued: “At the very least, people overall are participating in different gaming options, suggesting that gamblers were now enjoying a type of hybrid wagering experience across multiple channels in a bid to optimise convenience.”
The last word
Clearly, there’s an obvious trend developing in the New Jersey marketplace, as online gambling and casino verticals remain strong even as brick-and-mortar venues reopen their doors and coronavirus restrictions are eased.
This definitely highlights a shift in consumer attitudes and behaviours, as players remain active online and continue to flirt with the idea of enjoying a multi-channel gambling experience.
Of course, we need to review the figures for the remainder of the year to determine whether this trend is sustainable, or whether we’ll see more players eschew brick-and-mortar gambling in favour of online games and casinos.
Either way, this will be a fascinating space to watch, especially as New Jersey continues to blaze a trail for other states to follow in the burgeoning iGaming marketplace.