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iGaming in New Jersey grew by 65.6% year-on-year in March, softening the blow of reduced sports betting activity. 

The impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has led both to the cancellation of sporting events and a temporary shutdown of land-based casinos in the state. 

Online poker, in particular, enjoyed a fruitful month, with a substantial month-on-month increase. 

A mini-renaissance for poker 

According to the newly-released figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), revenue from poker in the Garden State amounted to $3.6 million. This was 90.6% more than in March 2019. Meanwhile, money generated from other authorized games grew by 64.4% to $61.2 million. 

In total, iGaming in New Jersey brought in $64.8 million last month. Comparatively, the same period last year generated $39.1 million. 

In an interview published on New Jersey 101.5’s website, Bill Pascrell III – part of the Princeton Public Affairs Group – spoke about the opportunity for iGaming growth. His words were as follows. 

“This is a huge opportunity for the online gaming industry, not only in New Jersey – which I believe is the mecca for online gaming in America – but also to show governors and legislators across the country that you’re a fool to not embrace this.”

He continued by saying the below. 

“Not only are you getting new online gamblers into your arsenal… but what you’re also doing is you’re allowing the brick-and-mortar casino industry to have reach to those online gamblers.”

Sports betting not completely dormant 

Despite fewer choices than usual, players did still bet on sports. $181.9 million was placed within this vertical, $163.4 million of which came from online sources. The total on and offline figure for March 2019 was $372.5 million, representing a 51.2% drop. 

Sports betting operators in New Jersey made $13.2 million in revenue, which was slightly lower than February’s total of $17 million. However, it was much lower than last year’s earnings for March – which was $31.7 million. 

Land-based gambling takes a hit in the midst of statewide lockdown 

All casinos in New Jersey were ordered to shut in the middle of last month and are still closed at the time of writing. 

The impact on revenue was clear, with a 61.7% year-on-year decline. Operators made $85.5 million prior to the lockdown. 

Land-based slots revenue also went down by 64.5%, with $57.7 million coming through the doors. Meanwhile, table-based games endured a revenue decline of 54.1% – generating $27.8 million before operations were halted. 

Atlantic City in particular has felt the hit of the ongoing situation. March was the first time since June 2018 that monthly gambling revenue dropped for the city’s casinos – a streak which had lasted for 21 months. 

Meadowlands keeps ahead of the chasing pack in sports betting

Meadowlands continued to be New Jersey’s top sports betting revenue-maker in March. The venue, which has sub-licenses with FanDuel and PointsBet, made $5.9 million. This was a decline from $17.6 million last year. 

Resorts Digital, which is partnered with Boston-based DraftKings, finished second on the list. Its $5.1 million represented a 30.1% year-on-year decrease.

Those were the only operators to break the $1 million mark. Monmouth Park was in third place, making $849,040 last month. 

Golden Nugget enjoys online growth 

Golden Nugget continued to lead the way in New Jersey’s iGaming market last month. It brought in $23.3 million from non-sports betting-related online activities, 63.8% more than during the same period last year. 

Just as it did with sports betting, Resorts finished second on this list. The operator generated $13.5 million, with Borgata ($12.2 million) placed just behind in third.  

Across all on and offline verticals, the northeastern state announced $163.5 million in overall revenue last month. 

Altogether, New Jersey’s gambling market has generated $751.3 million so far this year. Compared to the end of March 2019, this represents a slight decrease of 1.8%.

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