Atlantic City Sees Huge Increase in August Gambling Revenue
On Wednesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement officially published a report regarding the performance of the gambling industry in Atlantic City. Per the report, gambling revenue in Atlantic City was up a whopping 24 percent in the month of August, due in no small part to the added presence of legalized sports betting.
The boon helped the city’s 9 functioning casinos to their biggest single-month growth in a number of years. The total gambling revenue in the state added up to $303.9 million in August, which was up 24.1 percent year-on-year. Casino revenue was the primary source of the growth. The aforementioned 9 casinos combined to generate $269.9 million in revenue in August, which was an increase of nearly 21 percent from August of 2017. Online gaming revenue totaled $24.8 million last month, which was up nearly 17 percent from August of 2017. Sports betting revenue accounted for $9.2 million in August revenue. 6 of the 9 Atlantic City casinos currently have live sports wagering options.
The Borgata was the casino that accounted for the majority of the total generated revenue in the month. The Borgata generated $76.4 million alone in August. The casino was one of the first in New Jersey to launch its own sports betting operation since PASPA was struck down a few months ago. The demolition of PASPA has since led to a number of states legalizing and regulating sports gambling, including New Jersey. The Borgata launched its own sportsbook back on June 14, and customers were able to bet on sports over the web through the Borgata’s sportsbook starting on August 22. The Borgata generated $855,152 in sports wagers last month.
David Rebuck, the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said, “With the new casinos that opened in June and the addition of sports wagering options, including online alternatives, the gaming industry has experienced growth rates in July and August that have not been achieved in years. It is an exciting time for Atlantic City and we look forward to continued revenue growth going forward.”
The newest casinos in Atlantic City, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Ocean Resort Casino, generated nearly $52 million in gaming revenue in August combined. Ocean Resort generated the lowest revenue among any Atlantic City casino in July, but it moved ahead of a couple of others with over $20 million in revenue in August.
The aforementioned $9.2 million generated via sports betting also includes revenue from new sportsbooks at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park race tracks. Online and mobile betting offerings are also included. The Meadowlands track was the one to see the bulk of the sports betting action, with over $3 million in proceeds last month alone. The Resorts’ digital division, which is affiliated with daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings, generated nearly $3 million in August after launching on August 1.
The total amount of money wagered on sports in the state of New Jersey in August totaled $95,634,048. That’s an awful lot of cash coming in. That amount included $73,919,891 bet at land-based casinos and another $21,714,157 through online wagering platforms. In all, New Jersey has a total sports betting handle of $152,727,069 since the first sportsbook launched back on June 14.
Dustin Gouker, a sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com, said, “We could see sports betting grow by more than 300 percent in September as NFL and college football ramp up and the number of options for online sports wagering in New Jersey continues to grow. September will be an enormously important month for New Jersey’s legal sports betting industry.”
Internet gambling revenue was actually down over $1 million compared to July but Gouker says that was to be expected. He added, “We saw a race to the online market ahead of the NFL season, and the strong August handle shows why. Online sports betting will be an important vehicle for the industry. But September will give us our first full picture of just how strong the market for online betting truly is.”
Mississippi, another state that recently launched sports betting, saw a total handle of $9.8 million for its first month of legalized bets. Mississippi first legalized sports betting in July and the first operation went live on August 1. Over 20 casinos in Mississippi launched their own sportsbooks between August 1 and September 3. The stark contrast in populations helps explain why Mississippi’s totals pale in comparison to New Jersey’s. Over 9 million people live in New Jersey, while about 3 million call Mississippi home.
West Virginia and Delaware have also legalized sports betting following PASPA’s defeat. Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are expected to follow suit before the calendar flips to 2019, with more states expected to follow next year.
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