New Jersey sets US sports betting monthly record at US$668M

New Jersey sets US sports betting monthly record at US$668M

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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ATLANTIC CITY, USA (AP) — New Jersey gamblers set a nationwide record for the most money bet on sports in a single month, plunking down almost US$668 million in August on events including resurgent baseball, basketball and hockey seasons that had been interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, figures released yesterday showed.

That smashed the previous record of US$614 million set in Nevada in November 2019.

The extra money helped cushion the blow of months of losses incurred by New Jersey's casinos and two racetracks that offer sports betting, helping them start to rebound financially.

The state Division of Gaming Enforcement shows the casinos and tracks collectively won US$326.3 million from gamblers in August.

That figure was heartening to the casinos because it came in a month where they were restricted to operating at 25 per cent of capacity, and it also included a doubling of Internet gambling revenue compared to a year ago.

All told, the casinos and tracks saw their revenue decline by only 7.5 per cent compared to August 2019, when they were going full-blast and there was no pandemic.

The biggest news was a record-setting performance by New Jersey's sports betting industry. In addition to surpassing Nevada's previous high, the US$668 million wagered on sports in August surpassed the previous New Jersey record of US$562 million set in November 2019.

After paying off winning bets, the casinos and tracks reported US$39.5 million in revenue on sports bets in August. It was the first full month of baseball this year, and gamblers also had hockey and basketball play-offs to bet on.

Internet gambling brought in US$87.7 million, more than twice what it had a year earlier.

Only two casinos, Ocean Resort and the Golden Nugget, managed to post year-over-year revenue increases. Ocean was up 3.7 per cent to US$26.6 million, and Golden Nugget was up 2.5 per cent to US$37 million.

Caesars had the biggest decline, down 31.4 per cent to US$21.2 million, followed closely by its sister property Harrah's, down a nearly identical 31.3 per cent to US$21.4 million. Resorts was down 28.8 per cent to US$13.8 million; Tropicana was down 26.5 per cent to US$26.5 million; Bally's was down 21.3 per cent to US$15.2 million; Borgata was down 19 per cent to US$64.7 million; and Hard Rock was down 3.5 per cent to US$39.4 million.

Two Internet-only entities did well in August. Resorts Digital was up over 97 per cent to US$27.9 million, and Caesars Interactive NJ was up almost 87 per cent to US$9.2 million.

Among racetracks, the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, just outside New York City, took in US$21.1 million in sports betting revenue compared with US$11.8 million a year earlier, and Monmouth Park in Oceanport near the Jersey Shore, took in US$1.8 million compared to US$2 million a year earlier.

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