US states which have made the switch to legalizing US online gambling are reporting increases in revenue over the last few months. At a time when many businesses have fallen flat on their face during the COVID-19 pandemic, online casinos who allow US players in those few states where gambling is legal have flourished. In the last month, online casinos in New Jersey have reported impressive revenues of almost $86 million.
A Switch to Online Casino Gaming
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic saw all brick-and-mortar casinos in New Jersey close during the time of lock-downs. However, New Jersey was not alone in this. Every other state which has legalized land-based betting suffered from the same problem. You cannot get the gamblers through the door if the risk of the infection spreading is high. As a result, the five states where online casino gaming is largely legal – New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Michigan – seemed well-placed to continue making money from gambling.
The primary reason is that many of these states permit online gambling. US players can create accounts at the digital domains of the very land-based casinos they visit and provided they reside inside the state; they can wager from home. This month, New Jersey has reported an $85.9 million boom in online casino gaming, a rise of 124% on last year’s figures.
Land-Based Casinos Not Yet Open
Despite the promising rise in numbers, the New Jersey online gambling sector is still down on its overall revenue over the first five months this year, compared to 2019. To date, New Jersey’s iGaming sites have racked up $929.6 million, some $377.2 million short of last year’s impressive figures. When are the land-based casinos set to re-open, though?
The Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, is under increasing pressure to get things moving. Thus far, the Governor has permitted outdoor eating and the re-opening of non-essential retail outlets. However, casinos do not appear to be on the menu just yet. Mr Murphy hopes for the re-opening of Atlantic City’s casinos soon, but he will only authorize that based on facts and data, and in a responsible manner.
Other States Look on With Envy
At the same time as New Jersey reports significant rises in online casino revenue, other states are looking on with envious eyes. Twelve states have legalized sports betting, but only five have permitted online casino games to be included. Many in the remaining states are now looking at New Jersey and contemplating whether incorporating online casino games (or at least games of skill) into their digital offering might be a worthwhile decision for the future.
What Happens to Gambling Next?
Thus far, there is no confirmed timetable for the re-opening of New Jersey’s brick-and-mortar casinos. Of the $86 million of revenue earned from online casinos, Golden Nugget Casino took the lion’s share, at $29 million. Resorts to $17.6 million and Borgata ended up in third place with $16.6 million. With sporting events now likely to resume, the surge in online casino betting may be swiftly replaced with sports bets. Those bets have suffered a 36.2% drop to $9.9 million last month, on account of fewer sports being available to bet on.