New Jersey's Gambling Industry Faces Contrasting In-Person and Online Trends

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New Jersey's gambling industry is experiencing a contrasting trend as the in-person sector continues to face hurdles while iGaming gains momentum.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement has released the latest figures for May, revealing a 9.4% increase in gross gaming revenue, reaching $471 million for the month. While overall numbers show growth, there are notable pain points in the land-based sector, highlighting the shifting landscape of the industry.

Atlantic City's casinos reported a 2.4% annual decline in revenue generated from in-person gambling. Gross gaming revenue from this particular vertical amounted to $227.3 million, raising concerns about the slow recovery of the land-based segment.

Interestingly, only three of the brick-and-mortar casinos managed to surpass their May 2019 revenue from in-person gambling. This underlines the challenge faced by the industry as it strives to regain pre-pandemic levels of activity. Industry experts have offered insights into these developments, drawing attention to the evolving market dynamics.

Jane Bokunewicz, the director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, acknowledged the decline in in-person gambling revenue but highlighted that it still surpassed the figures from May 2019. Bokunewicz attributed this difference to the amounts wagered and won at leading venues, suggesting that consumer behavior has changed, with players exploring newer products that have become a regular part of their casino experience.

Rise of Internet Gambling and Evolving Habits

James Plousis, the chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the role of iGaming and sports betting in supporting the industry's results and compensating for the slow recovery in the state. Plousis pointed out that the overall gross gaming revenue in Atlantic City reached $2 billion faster than any other year in the past decade, indicating some positive signs.

Critics, however, caution against solely relying on internet gambling revenue, highlighting that a significant portion of the income generated is shared with third-party companies responsible for operating the technical platforms for online gaming and sports betting.

In terms of overall gross gaming revenue for May, Borgata claimed the top position with $111 million, encompassing casino, internet, and sports betting verticals. The Golden Nugget followed with $56.2 million, and Hard Rock recorded $48.1 million. These three venues experienced slight growth in their May revenue compared to the previous year.

New Jersey's gambling landscape is undergoing significant shifts as the in-person sector faces challenges while iGaming continues to thrive. The May revenue figures reflect changing consumer behavior and the increasing popularity of online gambling platforms. While land-based casinos grapple with a slow recovery, the industry remains resilient, with iGaming and sports betting helping to bolster results. As New Jersey adapts to these evolving habits, it will be interesting to see how the industry continues to transform and cater to the preferences of modern players.

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