NJ Gambling For September 2021 Set New Records

Updated on October 29, 2021
nj september online casino revenue

Anyone who still has doubts that Atlantic City and New Jersey are on the road to full economic recovery need only look at the NJ gambling revenue statistics that the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has released for September. The figures are up in every category–Atlantic City casino gambling, online gambling, and sports betting.

Moreover, for both NJ online gambling revenue and sports betting handle, September set new monthly records.

This article for NJ Online Casino will summarize the results for each of the three categories. We will also indicate which casinos lead and trail the pack.

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September NJ gambling revenue: Atlantic City casino gambling

As expected, since the pandemic had a much greater effect on in-person attendance and gambling than online gambling, recovery has also been much slower. However, some great news is that the most recent figures for Atlantic City casino gambling are moving in the right direction. The $248.5 million generated in September from slot and table game play for the nine Atlantic City casinos combined represented more than an 11 percent increase from 2019 and more than a 30 percent increase from 2020.

The following table shows the total revenue reported by each of the nine Atlantic City casinos from in-person play in September. These figures include slots, table games, and where applicable, poker at the brick and mortar casinos but not online gambling or sports betting.

Atlantic City Casino Revenue for September 2021

Casino

Total Gambling Win

Borgata

$60,245,929

Hard Rock

$41,074,731

Ocean

$29,075,514

Harrah’s

$27,471,884

Tropicana

$24.554.962

Caesars

$22,026,037

Resorts

$17,245,194

Bally’s

$14,086,296

Golden Nugget

$12,944,173

TOTAL

$248,524,720

Comparisons with previous months

Total revenue was not as high as for the two biggest months, July and August ($276,900,162 and $262,404,003, respectively) but higher than in any of the first six months of 2021. Total Atlantic City casino revenue was also substantially higher than in both September 2019 (before the pandemic) and September 2020 (two months after the casinos reopened).

A combination of factors probably contributed to these results. As Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism at Stockton University, points out, “mild weather and declining COVID infection rates seem to have extended the season for resort visitors.”

Also, with the relaxed restrictions at the casinos, the return of top entertainment, and a high percentage of adults fully vaccinated, many people who had misgivings about visiting Atlantic City previously felt much more confident about making the trip.  As a result, the casinos were crowded with players, not just in July and August, but in September, too.

We will have to wait and see if the same trend continues over the rest of 2021, but Bokunewicz thinks it will. “With mild weather continuing into October and indications that the worst of the pandemic may finally be behind us, we should expect to see strong land-based revenue numbers into the fall,” Bokunewicz suggested.

Which of the land-based casinos performed best?

As you can see from the above table, once again, Borgata was No. 1. This comes as no surprise, as Borgata has been the top-performing land-based casino every month this year.

But what some people might find surprising is that the casinos in second and third place–also every month this year–are Atlantic City’s two newest casinos: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and Ocean Casino Resort.

The three Caesars-owned casinos (Harrah’s, Tropicana, and Caesars) fall in the middle of the pack, followed by Resorts, Bally’s, and Golden Nugget.

September NJ Gambling Revenue: NJ Online Gambling

The fact that Atlantic City casino attendance and betting were way up, not only in July and August, but in September, too, did not detract at all from the popularity of NJ online gambling. On the contrary, online NJ gambling revenue for September broke all previous monthly records.

The following table includes the revenue from online casino games and poker but not online sports betting. As the table shows, the total  NJ gambling revenue in this category for September came to nearly $122.6 million. This marked the eighth time this year that NJ online casino revenue surpassed $100 million. But it was also the first time in the nearly eight-year history of NJ online casino gambling that the revenue for a single month surpassed $120 million.

      NJ Online Gambling Revenue for September 2021

Casino Licensee

Internet Gaming Win

Borgata

$38.224.449

Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG)

  31,069,889

Resorts Digital

  28,386,004

Caesars Interactive

 10,179,606

Tropicana

   7,206,206

Hard Rock

   6,809,634

Ocean

   1,382,171

Bally’s (Premier)

      336,979

TOTAL

$122,594,948

Which operators performed the best?

As the above table shows, Borgata Online Casino and its affiliated online partners held onto the top spot for the 7th consecutive month. Previously, Golden Nugget (operating as Golden Nugget Online Gaming since Nov. 2020) had held that distinction for a very long time. But in March 2020, Golden Nugget’s reign at the top finally came to an end. Borgata knocked Golden Nugget out of first place, and the standings have stayed the same, with GNOG second and Resorts Digital third, ever since.

None of the remaining NJ online casino operators have come close. Caesars Interactive was a distant fourth, followed by Tropicana, Hard Rock, Ocean, and, trailing the field, Bally’s Premier. Ocean’s standing near the bottom is not surprising, as the owners’ primary focus has consistently been on improving the land-based casino and not so much the online casino. However, given time, Bally’s online performance may improve significantly, keeping in mind that Bally’s Premier has only existed as a separate entity since the recent change in that casino’s ownership.

September sports betting: $1 billion handle set a new record

Certainly, the record-breaking NJ online gambling revenue for September was a noteworthy accomplishment. However, the feat that grabbed the most attention was the record $1 billion sports betting handle.

It was the first instance in legal sports betting history where any state reported over $1 billion in legal sports wagers in a single month, and New Jersey–not Nevada was the first state to do it.

In fact, these latest statistics further cement New Jersey’s current position as the new king of sports betting. For a long time, Nevada was the undisputed king, but those days are gone. Looking at the period from the inception of legalized sports betting in New Jersey to the present, in both betting handle and revenue New Jersey has surpassed Nevada.

However, it is important to note that month after month, more than 90 percent of the money bet legally at NJ sportsbooks is wagered online or on mobile devices. This was certainly the case in September. Out of a total handle of $1.011 billion. $918.4 million was in the form of digital bets.

Revenue from NJ sports betting was also way up

Surprisingly, the revenue generated from the more than 1 billion dollars wagered at NJ sportsbooks in September didn’t also break the previous record, but it came very close.

According to the DGE, the total amount of revenue generated from NJ sports betting in September 2021 was $82,440,420.  It was the second-highest since June 2018 (the first month when legal sports betting was an option in New Jersey). January 2021 was the only month showing a slightly higher total of $82,640,979.

Which NJ sports betting operators contributed the most?

Out of all of the NJ sportsbooks, these are the three operators and their affiliated online brands that have clearly dominated the field.

Licensee Online Brands Online Revenue Retail Revenue Total Revenue
Meadowlands

FanDuel

PointsBet

$36,564,143 $4,693,138 $41,257,281
Resorts

DraftKings

Fox Bet

Resorts

$13,164,655 $483,800 $13,648,465
Borgata

Borgata

BetMGM

$10,845,365 $2,571,306 $13,416,671

How likely is it for New Jersey sports betting to continue at the same level?

Given the fact that July and August tend to be two of the slowest months of the year for sports betting while September marks the start of the football season, a big jump in both handle and revenue was expected. As for the betting handle exceeding $1 billion in September, Tom Gable, race and sports director at the Borgata, believed that it was only a matter of time before that happened.

It would be reasonable to expect similar results for October, especially since all four major sports–football, baseball, basketball, and hockey–are all taking place. However, one area of concern down the road is that when sports betting becomes legalized in New York, the New Jersey handle and revenue will go down. Many sports bettors currently take the bridge or tunnel from NYC into New Jersey to bet legally with a NJ sportsbook on their phone. Once they are able to do the same thing in their own state, their need for a NJ sportsbook will disappear.

On the other hand, there is no shortage of people in New Jersey who want to gamble and no indication that the robust market here in this state for either sports betting or casino games is going to dry up anytime soon.

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