Online poker revenue saves the day in New Jersey

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Posted on: July 15, 2020 7:18 pm EDT

With New Jersey casinos shuttered in June, only reopening their doors in July with limited capacity, casino revenue from gambling operators were disappointing across the board.

“June was the last full month of casino closures, and the figures reflect the historic business disruption across the region and beyond,” noted James Plousis, Chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

But online poker, casino, and sports betting seem to be the ray of hope Atlantic City needs.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) releases numbers every month highlighting monthly revenue by operator, both for B&M properties and their online gaming counterparts. For the month of June, gambling operators generated $97.6 million in revenue, a 66% year-over-year drop. The numbers are similar to the 65% drop in May 2020 when compared to May 2019.

None of this is surprising. The Borgata poker room along with all casinos have been shut down since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many properties opened their doors in early July, with some properties, like Borgata, choosing to keep their doors closed due to the restrictions on dining or drinking.

But while poker players haven’t been able to play in Atlantic City, they have been anteing up online, much to the delight of the casinos that serve players within state lines. A number of properties have their own online poker sites, including Borgata. However, the state-regulated sites limit their traffic to players within state lines, a restriction that encourages players to seek out the bigger guarantees offered by offshore poker rooms.

Data from the DGE shows that the majority of revenue came from online poker and online casino play to the tune of $84.9 million. $12.5 million came from sports betting. Both numbers are an increase of 2019 numbers ($38.1 million earned from online gaming and $9.7 earned from sports betting).