New Jersey Online Casino Revenues Rise as In-Person Sinks

New Jersey Online Casino Revenues Rise as In-Person Sinks
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Online slots and table games continue year-over-year revenue increase while New Jersey’s brick-and-mortar properties decline.

New Jersey’s digital real money casino gaming platforms continued their revenue increases to start 2024 even as the state’s venerable in-person industry declined. 

Internet gaming win across the state’s legal digital platforms was $182.3 million for February 2024. The state’s nine Atlantic City casinos generated $211.6 million during that same time. 

This was a nearly 24% year-over-year increase for iGaming. The brick-and-mortar properties declined 2.4% from February 2024 compared to February 2023. 

This continued a trend from January 2024; online casinos generated $183.3 million, a nearly 20% year-over-year increase, compared to $205 million in revenue for the in-person casinos, a roughly 3% decline. 

Key New Jersey gaming figures 

New Jersey online casinos have seen massive growth since 2014, the first full calendar year with legal iGaming. Legal online casinos generated roughly $10 million in monthly gaming win in 2014. Those casinos generated less revenue in calendar year 2014 combined than these platforms garnered in February 2024 alone. 

Digital sportsbooks have also seen tremendous increases since the state’s 2018 launch. The state’s sportsbooks generated $67.6 million in gross revenue in February 2024, the vast majority of which came online. 

The February 2024 revenue totals were a nearly 24% year-over-year increase from February 2023. Compared to February 2019, sportsbooks saw a more than 432% revenue increase. 

Combined, the state’s online slots, table game, and sportsbook revenues are now eclipsing their brick-and-mortar counterparts. At their current trajectories, online slots and table games alone could potentially exceed all in-person gaming. 

New Jersey considers gaming future 

The epicenter of East Coast casino gaming for nearly half a century, New Jersey’s future in the industry appears increasingly digital. 

Atlantic City, home to all nine New Jersey casinos, has recovered and steadied financially since a rash of closures in the wake of the Great Recession beginning in the early 2010’s and again after the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns a decade later. Casino revenues are now consistently above 2019 figures, the last full year before the pandemic. 

But the pandemic, and the spread of online gaming, has altered New Jersey’s gaming environment.  

Atlantic City is roughly 60 miles from the Philadelphia metro area and 120 miles from New York. Three full-scale casino resorts are set to open in downstate New York in the coming years. 

More critical is the convenience of online gaming. With nearly every gaming option available at a brick-and-mortar casino now legally available on phones in New Jersey, there is a dwindling need to play these games in person. 

For New Jersey, online gaming may continue bolstering gambling revenues – and their ensuing taxes – even as in-person figures continue to fall. 

Other states resist online gaming 

Despite New Jersey’s online gaming growth, other states have resisted digital casinos

Only six other states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and West Virginia have legal real money U.S. casino gaming. Not coincidently, two of the three border New Jersey. 

Politicians, even in other Mid-Atlantic states that have increasingly supported gambling such as New York and Maryland, have struggled to pass iGaming legalization. The pair entered 2024 as two of the likeliest legalization candidates but neither appears positioned to approve any such legislation this year. 

Opponents, even gaming supporters, have argued online gaming will cannibalize in-person revenues, though studies in existing markets have shown these fears are unfounded. Still, the concern persists, leading organized labor and some brick-and-mortar casino stakeholders to oppose iGaming legalization. 

Other detractors argue online casino games will spark gambling addiction and other societal ills. While mobile sports betting has, comparatively, been better received, earning approval in roughly 30 states, the idea of a “slot machine in every pocket” has proven politically unpalatable in most statehouses. 

Advocates continue pointing to New Jersey as an iGaming success story.  

More than a decade into legal iGaming, the state is seeing gaming revenues complement brick-and-mortar gaming, not take away from it. As casino gaming expands in other states – and younger customers turn increasingly to phone-based entertainment – supports say New Jersey casino iGaming can also be a financial life raft should retail revenues continue to fall. 

New Jersey gaming stakeholders remain bullish both retail and online gaming figures can grow throughout 2024. Early on, its clear digital offerings are the best bet for continued gain.