DGE report: A.C. shows continued gains in casino, sports betting, internet gaming

By Emily Bader
Atlantic City | Mar 14, 2019 at 10:56 am

Atlantic City showed continued growth last month, according to a Division of Gaming Enforcement report for February.

Gains in casino, sports betting and internet gaming revenues have built upon last year’s gains in revenue, high employment numbers and increased tourism, the DGE report said.

“Since the start of the New Year, Atlantic City continues to see sustained revenue and tourism growth in 2019,” Kevin Ortzman, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, said. “As we head into March, with March Madness and baseball season approaching, we are very hopeful that Atlantic City will continue to grow as a destination resort for visitors.”

According to PlayNJ.com, New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks took in more than $320.4 million worth of bets in February and netted $12.7 million in revenue, down 16.8 percent from a record $385.3 million waged in January.

“Because of the strength of New Jersey’s online product, in-play betting during the Super Bowl was significantly stronger in New Jersey than in other legal markets,” Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com, said. “In addition, New Jersey’s sportsbooks saw significant action on other sports, particularly on college basketball and the NBA. It adds up to another very good month for New Jersey even after a somewhat disappointing Super Bowl handle.”

For the month, legal online gambling generated $31.8 million in February, up 44 percent from $22 million in February 2018. Though monthly revenue was down from $33.6 million in January, the industry generated $1.1 million per each of the 28 days of February.

“New Jersey’s online casinos are among the biggest beneficiaries of legalized sports betting,” Steve Ruddock, lead online gambling analyst for PlayNJ.com, said. “Online casino revenue has grown by at least 25 percent in seven of the eight months since online sportsbooks made their first appearance in the Garden State. It would not be surprising if the industry hits $40 million in monthly revenue at some point before 2019 has ended.”

The DGE report, which was released Wednesday, showed February gaming revenue for Atlantic City was more than $232 million. This is a 21 percent increase when compared to last year.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Online gaming revenue was nearly $32 million, up 44 percent from February 2018;
  • The industry generated nearly $20 million in taxes and fees collected by the state in February 2019.

“The latest numbers, combined with the tourism and gaming numbers of 2018, are encouraging as Atlantic City continues to grow and diversify the market,” Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University, said. “Overall, Atlantic City is trending positively, and we are optimistic that this economic growth will continue.”

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | emilybader