Record Revenues in New Jersey’s Casino and Sports Betting Industry Despite Mixed Success for In-person Gambling

by Staff

Casinos and sportsbooks in New Jersey generated $5.8 billion in 2023, 10% more than in 2022. The industry made $5.2 billion in 2022, an amount last made in 2006—years before Garden State legalized online gambling.

While the overall betting industry triumphed, in-person casinos had mixed results. Six brick-and-mortar casinos made less money in 2023 than they did before the pandemic. 

Land-based casinos value profits from in-person betting more because they keep most of the money. Online casinos and sportsbooks split their profits with software providers and other tech providers. And they don’t have extra sources of revenue like hotels and clubs. 

Bets on Internet Gambling Paying Off

New Jersey’s decision to allow online gambling is paying off. Profits for legal online casinos in NJ jumped 15% in 2023 according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Mobile sports betting also set a new annual record. Both sectors contributed 46% of Garden State’s gambling income in 2023. 

Bettors in New Jersey have been supporting the mobile betting sector overwhelmingly since its launch. The state legalized online casinos in 2013 and sports betting in 2018.

Beginning in 2019, more than half of gambling bets in Garden State were conducted through a smartphone. The percentage rose to as high as 80% after the COVID-19 pandemic, spreading fear that online gambling would kill retail casinos.

That is yet to happen. One of the reasons is that many casinos in Garden State expanded their offerings to include Internet gambling services. This allowed them to maximize their income from the growing demand for online casinos and sports betting.

In-Person Gambling Revenues

New Jersey has nine commercial casinos. Hard Rock, Borgata, and Ocean had the highest profits in 2023. In fact, these casinos made more money from in-person bettors last year than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining six casinos made less money compared to pre-COVID numbers.

Borgata led the pack with in-person winnings worth $729 million. Hard Rock was second at $512 million while Ocean generated $415 million. Ocean’s income was a 16% rise compared to 2022.

Hard Rock’s income was 4% higher compared to last year while Borgata made 1% less income than a year ago. Collectively, these three casinos made $2.8 billion more than they did before the pandemic.

New Jersey’s in-person casinos have a lot to smile about despite recording mixed success in 2023. According to James Plousis, head of the state Casino Control Commission, the betting industry in NJ is performing marvelously.

Plousis noted that in-person casinos were performing much better than they did five years ago. Then there’s the unprecedented 15% growth of online casinos and increased revenues for sportsbooks.

Online Gambling Boosting Casino’s Income Significantly

Many casinos in New Jersey would be making less money without online gambling. A case in point, all the nine gambling businesses in Garden State made profits from their mobile casinos and sportsbooks.

Borgata generated $1.3 billion last year with Internet betting profits included. That’s $400 million more than it would have made with in-person gambling alone. 

Golden Nugget, which won $146 million from in-person gambling, generated $672 million when its mobile betting profits were added. All the remaining casinos, including Harrah’s, Hard Rock, Bally’s, Caesars, and Ocean all recorded great figures after factoring in mobile betting profits.

Ocean Casino’s online department helped the company make 21.4% more in profits compared to a year ago. Bally’s also had a 20% revenue boost thanks to adopting online gambling. Resort’s Digital, which provides all its gambling services online, was up 50% last year after making $822 million.

On the contrary, Harrah’s and Caesars online casinos and sportsbooks made lower profits than in 2022. Caesars Interactive NJ, which also offers online gambling primarily on the Internet, was down 20%.

Supportive Gambling Policies Benefiting NJ Casinos

New Jersey isn’t just an early adopter of online gambling. It’s also one of the best states to run a gambling business. The state licenses both online casinos and retail gambling establishments.

Online casinos can provide all the popular casino games, from slots and poker to blackjack and craps. When it comes to sports betting, Garden State bookmakers offer Major Leagues, college sports, and International sports practiced globally. That includes minor sports like eSports, Mixed Martial Arts, darts, and snooker. 

When it comes to taxation, New Jersey taxes gambling operators reasonably. Land-based casinos pay an 8% annual tax. Sportsbooks part with 8.5% of their profits as tax while online gambling sites pay 14.25%.

For comparison, New York taxes sportsbooks 50% of their gross income. Pennsylvania charges online casinos that offer slots up to 55% of their revenues as tax. 

Online Casino Demand to Keep Growing

Demand for gambling is projected to keep increasing in both New Jersey and around the country. There are a few explanations. For starters, the iGaming industry is safer now.

Legalization means bettors don’t have to deal with black market casinos and sportsbooks located overseas. Local casinos provide a safer betting environment. By law, they must also secure your data through an encrypted website and handle your data with a great deal of privacy.

Beyond safety, online casinos provide a wide range of games. As we stated earlier, you can play hundreds of slots and card games at top casinos in the state. You can also bet on sports.

The best NJ casinos all give new customers bonuses. If you’ve been thinking of gambling online but don’t want to spend your money yet, find a welcome bonus. Look for a bonus with nice terms to increase your chances of withdrawing your profits.

Another thing to consider in an online casino is its withdrawal policy. Select a site with fast withdrawals. This is true whether you’re a high roller or plan to gamble with a small amount.

The Future of Gambling in NJ is Bright

Everything seems to be working out for gambling businesses in Garden State. Land-based casinos are making more money than they did before the pandemic. They’re generating more money from their Internet betting websites. As Internet gambling grows, casinos and sportsbooks in NJ will continue to thrive.

About the Author/s

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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