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US – New Jersey celebrates record year in 2023 but more than half of AC’s casinos in decline

By - 17 January 2024

New Jersey’s gambling revenue hit an all-time high in 2023, reaching $5.78bn, up 11 per cent from last year, driven by record revenues in online gaming and sports betting.

Brought in to keep the land-based sector afloat, the two verticals accounted for half the revenue generated by Atlantic City’s nine casinos, three horse tracks that have sports betting, and their online partners, which surpassed the previous record of $5.2bn set in 2006 and again last year.

Two-thirds of the state’s casinos are still generating less revenue from in-person gambling than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. Only three; the long-established market leader Borgata, along with the two newest venues Hard Rock and Ocean, generated better revenues on their gaming floors than they did in 2019. The total generated by the nine casinos did though surpass 2019 levels with $2.8bn coming in from the land-based sector, making it the best performing year for land-based in a decade.

Land-based slots generated revenue of $2.11bn, up 3.3 per cent, whilst table games revenue fell by 0.7 per cent to $736.2m.

James Plousis, Chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said: “New Jersey’s vision for a vibrant and competitive Atlantic City is coming to fruition after the addition of on-line gaming and sports wagering.”

Jane Bokunewicz, Director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, said the record ‘would not have been possible without the contributions of new gaming products;internet gaming and sports wagering, which contributed nearly 46 per cent of total gaming revenue for the year.’

“The industry’s gamble on innovative new gaming products for the internet gaming and sports wagering markets seems to be paying off,” she said.

On the upside, market-leader Borgata generated $729m in revenue, an increase of less than one per cent. Hard Rock brought in $512m, an increase of 4.1 per cent whilst Ocean had the biggest gain at $415m, up 16.3 per cent.

Bally’s was up less than one per cent bringing in GGR of $155m, but the rest of the land-based sector was in decline with Harrah’s down 1.5 per cent at $254m, Tropicana down 3.3 per cent at $240m, Caesars came in 1.7 per cent less than last year at $231m, Resorts was down 2.3 per cent at $163m whilst Golden Nugget generated GGR of $146m, marking a decrease of 1.8 per cent.

Online gaming showed an increase of 16 per cent, reaching $1.9bn last year with online slots generated almost all of that total at $1.89bn, marking an increase of 15.9 per cent.

Golden Nugget was the online market leader generating $524.8m in revenue with Resorts Digital in second place with $507.8m and the Borgata in third with $489.9m in revenue.

Sports betting generated a personal best of $1.01bn, marking a 31.9 per cent increase from 2022 and marking the first time New Jersey sportsbetting passed the $1bn level.

Meadowlands was the market leader, partnering with FanDuel, PointsBet and SuperBook with $483.6m in revenue. Resorts World came in second place with partner DraftKings generating $314.5m in revenue, with Borgata and its partner BetMGM in third with $82.7m.

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