New Jersey Sees YOY Decline in Gaming Sector for 2020

New Jersey Gaming

The 2020 reports are in for New Jersey’s gaming sector and as a whole, the industry saw a sharp year-over-year decline when compared to 2019.

It was expected that once 2020 gambling revenue reports started to roll in for New Jersey, the results would not be good. The COVID-19 pandemic hit early in the year way back in March and since that time, casinos have shut down and then reopened at a much lower capacity. Certain amenities have been lacking and with the threat of the virus still in play, traffic numbers have been affected. According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the total gross gaming revenue of all aspects of the gambling sector, reached just over $2.88 billion last year. This was a decline of almost 17%.

Brick and Mortar Facilities Struggled

The hardest hit seems to be the land-based casinos and sportsbooks. As the venues were unable to offer services for several months, it led to zero revenues in some instances. Upon reopening in July, the casinos then struggled to gain ground as visitor numbers were on a decline.

The total loss for 2020 when compared to 2019 is $587.2 million. The amount was so large due to the issues revolving around land-based operations. Without any money coming in, it was expected that the revenue totals would be low.

For the nine casinos in Atlantic City, slot games brought in just over $1 million. Table games earned a little over $424 million. Together, this came to around $1.5 billion. This is unfortunately a decrease of 44% from the previous year.

Right now, casinos in Atlantic City are still operating at 25% capacity. Indoor dining and beverage service is cut off at 10 pm. Because of this restriction, casinos are losing out on the nighttime visitors. Most people want to be able to play games and have drinks in the late night hours. This is usually the busiest time for casino operators.

Help from iGaming

Of course, the outcome of the year would have been much, much worse, if New Jersey did not have online gaming to fall back on. The state is one of only a handful in the United States where online gambling is an option. As the land-based casinos shut down, online gambling soared. Players were stuck at home and unable to visit any entertainment venues, so they logged online to play slots and table games.

When it came to online slot and table games, the gross gaming revenues increased by more than 50%. In total, online gambling provided just over $931 million in earnings. Online poker was able to see success last year, bringing in a whopping $38.8 million. Online poker usually struggles to reach the $1 million mark in monthly revenues, but 2020 helps to increase each month’s totals considerably. The rake actually increased to around 85% via online poker operators last year.

As always, the top earner for the year in New Jersey when it comes to online casino gaming was the Golden Nugget. The brand seems unstoppable, with no other operator even coming close to what Golden Nugget can earn.

In 2020, the brand brought in over $318 million. This was a huge increase of 80% when compared to 2019. The next casino in line was Resorts Digital, earning just over $208 million. While this was a huge amount and an increase of over 100% from 2019, it was still over $100 million away from the leader.

Operators are now looking to 2021 and hoping for a better year. The COVID-19 pandemic is still and issue but now a vaccine is in play. With this option, hopefully people can be vaccinated and the risk of catching the deadly virus will be minimalized considerably so that things can get back to normal, even casino gaming.

Associate Writer: Simon loves to bet on sports as well as play online slots, and he has a keen eye for sorting out the honest sites from the not so honest.