New Jersey Gross Gaming Revenue Totals $2.88B in 2020, Atlantic City Casinos Struggle

New Jersey gross gaming revenue (GGR) totaled more than $2.88 billion in 2020. That represents a year-over-year decline of nearly 17 percent.

The gaming revenue number is the culmination of operations from brick-and-mortar casinos, land-based and mobile sports betting, and internet gaming and interactive poker. 2020 full-year GGR is a $587.2 million reduction from 2019’s collective win.

Slot machines at Atlantic City’s nine casinos won $1.088 billion of gamblers’ money. Table games kept over $424 million, for a combined income of $1.5 billion. That’s a 44 percent drop from 2019.

The nine casinos were forced to close in mid-March and were permitted to reopen in early July. Borgata, the state’s top-earning casino, didn’t resume operations until the end of that month. Atlantic City casinos continue to be limited to 25 percent capacity. Indoor food and beverage service must also cease at 10 pm nightly.

iGaming, Sports Betting Surges

Without online gaming and sports betting, 2020’s full-year GGR results would have been even worse.

Internet slot machines and table games saw GGR more than double, the online casinos winning $931.5 million. Interactive poker also fared well, rake increasing 85 percent to $38.8 million.

Golden Nugget was the top player in the iGaming space. The casino’s online operations won $318.8 million, an 80 percent increase. Resorts Digital was second at $208.5 million, a 108 percent surge.

New Jersey emerged as the sports betting leader in 2020. Garden State oddsmakers accepted more than $6 billion in wagers. More than $5.5 billion, or 92 percent, of the bets were facilitated online.

Sportsbooks kept $398.5 million of the wagers. The Meadowlands and its sports betting partner FanDuel won the lion’s share at $206.5 million. Resorts and DraftKings placed a distant second at $100.9 million. Online casinos delivered the state $145.7 million in tax revenue. Sports betting generated $50 million for the government.

Down Year, Optimism Ahead

Of the nine Atlantic City casinos, only two saw their total gross gaming revenue increase in 2020.

Golden Nugget experienced a 10 percent gain, its win totaling $415.5 million. Resorts and its iGaming and sports betting unit Resorts Digital posted combined revenue of $409.6 million, a 14 percent year-over-year premium.

Despite Bally’s, Borgata, Caesars, Hard Rock, Harrah’s, Ocean, and Tropicana all reporting reduced GGR, the industry is ready for a revival in 2021. Steve Callender, regional president for Caesars Entertainment who also chairs the Casino Association of New Jersey, says the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed will return business to the shore.

“It’s going to take a couple months … but there is incredible pent-up demand [to gamble],” Callender stated.

Leave a comment