NJ June gambling revenue down 65.6% amid virus closure

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The final month of coronavirus-mandated closures for New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks was predictably bad.

Figures released Tuesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show the nine casinos and two horse tracks that offer sports betting won $97.5 million in June, a decline of 65.6% from a year earlier, and virtually the same percentage decline that they posted in May, when revenue was down 65.4% from a year earlier.

June was the last full month that New Jersey’s casinos were shut down due to the virus; most of them reopened in the first week of July except for the Borgata, which will reopen on July 26.

With the casinos remaining shut since March 16, June’s winnings came online — nearly $85 million, up from $38 million a year earlier — and from extremely limited sports betting, including European soccer, Asian baseball and mixed martial arts matches — $12.6 million, up from $9.7 million a year ago. Even with the limited betting menu, gamblers were able to make over $165 million worth of sports wagers in June.

“June was the last full month of casino closures, and the figures reflect the historic business disruption across the region and beyond,” said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Now that casinos have begun welcoming back visitors with appropriate limits, Atlantic City has started on the road to recovery.”

Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of an institute that studies gambling and tourism at Stockton University, said that even with casinos currently restricted to operating at 25% of capacity, “there is nowhere to go from here but up.”

A robust internet gambling operation helped the Golden Nugget weather the storm in June. It won $29.2 million, down just over 1%.

Caesars, which does not have its own sports betting operation, reported no revenue at all for the month, although Caesars Interactive-NJ, an internet-only entity, saw its revenue increase by 77% from a year ago, to almost $8.8 million.

Harrah’s listed a $2,109 loss due to sports betting. Resorts was another casino with no revenue, but its internet affiliate, Resorts Digital, won over $21 million in June, up 119% from a year earlier.

Bally’s won just $39,000 in sports bets, down 99.8% from a year ago; Ocean casino won $1.7 million, down almost 92%; Hard Rock won $6.2 million, down almost 81%; Tropicana won $6 million, down almost 80%, and the Borgata won $17.7 million, down almost 75% from a year ago.

For the first half of this year, the casinos and two tracks — the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park — have won just over $1 billion through casino games and sports betting, a decline of 35.4% from the same period last year. That figure does not include revenue from horse racing.


Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC.

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