New Jersey Internet Gaming Sets New Monthly Record
New Jersey’s internet gaming sector did it again, setting a new record and clearing an important milestone. Internet gaming continued its almost unstoppable climb in January 2021 and surpassed $100M in revenue. That new monthly high sets a new bar and helps a still-struggling gambling industry as it tries to overcome the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released its January numbers last week. The gambling sector increased nicely from December to January, and it brought the entirety of the revenue within just 15% of the totals from January 2020. Considering that land-based gambling is still quite limited due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns, it could have been a lot worse if not for igaming.
Nevertheless, online poker remains the outlier, the one piece of the internet gaming puzzle in New Jersey that cannot grow with any consistency. After a surprising rise from November to December, revenue for poker online dropped in January.
But focusing on the positive, New Jersey’s internet gaming recently finished out a record 2020 and continues to be a shining example of the positive revenue stream that delivers to states.
Online Poker: Not the Best Start
For well over a year before the pandemic, the online poker segment of New Jersey igaming had been on a steady decline. When live poker options stopped in March 2020 and continued for months – even still now operating at limited capacities – online poker received the jolt it needed to shine. It had several very positive months in 2020.
As 2021 began, however, online poker dropped fairly significantly. While it still contributed more than $2.7M to the overall gaming totals, this segment may be on another downswing.
On the bright side, January’s revenue for internet poker continued to hover far above the January 2020 revenue total.
–January 2021 online poker win: $2,744,291
–December 2020 online poker win: $3,020,053
–January 2020 online poker win: $1,832,211
—Month-on-month: 9.13% increase
—Year-on-year: 49.8% increase
The boost that this part of the market needs is more liquidity. Governor Phil Murphy needs to work with the governors of Delaware and Nevada to bring Pennsylvania and Michigan into the mix. PokerStars is pushing for this because it can then connect its NJ, PA, and MI poker tables. WSOP, on the other hand, is the only one connected through the current multi-state agreement, and until it decides to launch in Pennsylvania and Michigan, that operator doesn’t likely care much about expanding liquidity yet.
Online Casino Games: Another Victory Lap
Internet gaming was the star of the 2020 gaming win numbers for New Jersey. Revenue increased more than 101% from the previous year and showed tremendous growth consistently throughout the year. Most notably, igaming provided revenue in the year when a pandemic wreaked so much economic havoc.
This igaming sector continued its rise directly through January 2021. Another month of growth was not overlooked, but the most notable point about the internet gaming win for January was that it eclipsed the $100M mark for the first time.
While online poker is a mixed bag with an uncertain trajectory, it belongs to the wider igaming sector in New Jersey. The table games and slots show enough continuous growth to make up for online poker shortcomings.
–January 2021 online casino games win: $101,027,021
–December 2020 online casino games win: $96,430,012
–January 2020 online casino games win: $53,254,379
—Month-on-month: 4.77% increase
—Year-on-year: 89.7% increase
More so, lately, those casino games online have been carrying the whole New Jersey gaming industry. Its strengths shone brightly in 2020 and will likely continue to do so in 2021, if January is any example.
–January 2021 total internet gaming win: $103,771,312
–December 2020 total internet gaming win: $99,450,065
–January 2020 total internet gaming win: $55,086,590
—Month-on-month: 4.35% increase
—Year-on-year: 88.38% increase
Look for more milestones as this sector grows throughout 2021.
Sports Betting: More Growth
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement provides sports wagering revenue each month, and the jump from December to January was significant. Super Bowl betting was a huge business, especially in January, and it paid off for the state.
–January 2021 sports betting win: $82,640,979
–December 2020 sports betting win: $66,386,516
–January 2020 sports betting win: $53,561,626
—Month-on-month: 24.5% increase
—Year-on-year: 54.3% increase
As more sports begin to play more regularly in 2021 due to vaccine distribution, expect sports betting revenue to increase proportionately.
Total NJ Gambling: Getting Back to Normal
It’s going to take time. It might take most of 2021 to see all restrictions lifted on every land-based gambling property. This year’s revenue will fluctuate based on all of the pandemic factors.
With that said, starting the year with a 15.3% increase in gaming revenue over January 2020 – when there was no pandemic yet – is a very positive sign. Casino slot machines and table games in land-based venues remains down – 16.6% in January 2021 – but internet gaming and sports betting win delivered another positive month for New Jersey.
–January 2021 total gaming revenue: $346,422,920
–December 2020 total gaming revenue: $312,910,740
–January 2020 total gaming revenue: $300,508,093
–Month-on-month: 10.71% increase
–Year-on-year: 15.3% increase
With all of its challenges, igaming has put New Jersey on a quicker path to recovery and given it a very bright outlook going forward.
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