New Jersey’s casinos, horse racing tracks that offer sports betting, won $470.6 million from gamblers in August

New Jersey’s casinos, horse racing tracks that offer sports betting and the online partners of both types of betting shops won $470.6 million from gamblers in August, up more than 10% from a year earlier, according to figures released Friday by state gambling regulators.

The amount of money won by gamblers in casinos was nearly $274 million, up 4.4% from a year earlier. But that total was still below August 2019 levels, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, when the total was over $286 million.

Returning to pre-pandemic levels for gamblers is the main goal of Atlantic City’s nine casinos, regardless of the fact that internet and sports betting money continues to grow.

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Those revenue streams are misleading, casino managers say, because casinos aren’t allowed to keep all that money; it must be shared with third parties, including tech platforms and sportsbooks. By some estimates, as much as 70% of the money for internet and sports betting is not withheld by the casinos.

“It’s been a great summer for Atlantic City and the region,” said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Recent efforts to create impactful in-person experiences will continue to drive positive momentum into the fall.”

Comparing the results for the three summer months to the same period last year, Atlantic City casino winnings were up more than 6% and total gambling revenues were over $1.2 billion, up 9%, Plousis said.

A dealer prepares to spin the ball during a game of roulette at the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. New Jersey gambling regulators reported that the state’s casinos, horse racing tracks that offer sports betting, and bo (AP Photo/Wayne Parry / Associated Press)

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Jane Boknewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the casino industry in Atlantic City, called the casinos’ performance in August “a solid display.”

She noted that while lagging behind pre-pandemic levels of August 2019, casino personal gains still surpassed every other August since 2015.

“The relatively slow growth of physical gaming revenue compared to the increasing contribution of internet gaming to total revenue could potentially indicate a change in consumer behavior that does not cannibalize personal gaming, but includes significant internet gaming activity,” she says. said. “Reduced reliance on solely personal gaming activities has the potential to keep the New Jersey casino industry competitive with its neighbors and more resilient to market disruptions that may arise in the future.”

For the month of August, five of the nine casinos reported increases in the amount of money won compared to a year earlier. These are: Borgata ($120.7 million, up more than 29%); Hard Rock (nearly $54 million, up 2.8%); the Ocean Casino Resort (nearly $40 million, up nearly 14%); Bally’s (just over $20 million, up nearly 30%); and resorts ($18.7 million, up 0.2%).

Four casinos reported declines in revenue from a year earlier. These are: Golden Nugget ($44.5 million, down 2.7%); Tropicana ($35.1 million, down 7.8%); Harrah’s (just over $25 million, down 10.4%); and Caesars (just over $22 million, down nearly 13%).

The Borgata had its second-best month on record in August, trailing just $124 million it won from gamblers in July. Both numbers represent the highest totals ever made by an Atlantic City casino since legal gambling began here in 1978.

Among internet-only entities, Resorts Digital won $43.5 million, up nearly 26%, and Caesars Interactive NJ won $8.9 million, down 10%.

In the first eight months of this year, the casinos, circuits and their partners collectively won $3.38 billion, an increase of 13.2% from the same period last year.

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The casinos and circuits took $546.7 million in sports betting in August and kept $65.2 million of that as revenue after paying off winning bets and other fees. The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, just outside New York City, won $33.1 million; Freehold Raceway won $2.7 million and Monmouth Park in Oceanport, near the Jersey Shore, won $1.8 million.

Internet casino games brought in $131.4 million in August, up 16% from a year earlier. On Wednesday, a state legislative panel indicated that New Jersey lawmakers are willing to extend the state’s online gambling license for another 10 years, until 2033.