New Jersey saw $385M in sport bets in Super Bowl run-up
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Gamblers betting on the NFL playoffs online or over their phones during the January run-up to the Super Bowl helped make more than $385 million in sports bets in New Jersey.
It was the highest monthly total yet for the state whose U.S. Supreme Court victory cleared the way for legal sports betting across the country.
Figures released Wednesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement show nearly $305 million of that was made by gamblers online or on mobile devices.
The extra money helped Atlantic City’s nine casinos collectively post a year-over-year increase of nearly 20 percent in January to $220 million, even though five saw their individual revenue decline during that period.
They also were aided by a good month for internet gambling, which was up 53 percent in January to $33.5 million.
New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case last May that cleared the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting should they so choose. So far, eight offer it.
January’s total eclipsed the $330 million in bets that New Jersey gamblers made in November, the previous high-water mark. The month included three weeks of football playoffs (the wild-card, divisional and conference championship rounds), as well as 11 days of betting on the Super Bowl matchup of the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots, which was held on Feb. 3.
The Atlantic City casinos made nearly $10 million in revenue from sports betting in January; when the Monmouth Park ($2 million) and Meadowlands ($7 million) racetracks are included, the combined statewide sports betting revenue total was nearly $18.8 million.
Despite the gaudy numbers, many Atlantic City casinos continue to be hurt by new in-city competition. Last year on June 27, two shuttered casinos reopened: the former Trump Taj Mahal opened as the Hard Rock, and the former Revel reopened as the Ocean Resort.
While the additional revenue generated at those two casinos helped push the city’s total as a whole higher in January, it also clearly cut into margins at many of the casinos that existed before Hard Rock and Ocean Resort opened.
Caesars was down 21.3 percent in January compared to a year earlier to $17.1 million; Harrah’s was down 8.6 percent to $21.5 million; Tropicana was down 6.2 percent to $24.5 million; Borgata was down 3.4 percent to $55.8 million, and Bally’s was down 1.1 percent to $12.6 million.
The Golden Nugget was up 14.3 percent in January to nearly $26.8 million, lifting it into second place among Atlantic City’s nine casinos in terms of revenue. Resorts were up 10.9 percent to nearly $12.9 million.
Hard Rock took in $17.2 million from gamblers in January, and Ocean Resort, which ran perilously short on cash during the month, precipitating a takeover of the casino by one of its lenders, won $14.1 million.
The Golden Nugget continued to dominate New Jersey’s internet gambling market with more than $12 million in online winnings in January, up 67 percent from a year earlier. Resorts Digital was a distant second at $6.4 million.
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