New Jersey has been an early adopter of online casinos, with favorable regulations and licensing making it possible for operators to provide services to players across the state.
It is already recognized as the biggest market for web-based gambling in the US, and December of 2020 was another seriously strong month in terms of revenues.
Here’s a look at how this success story continues to gain traction and exceed expectations, as well as continuing its positive contribution to the regional economy.
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Reaching new highs
Revenues achieved by the best NJ online casinos rated here hit $99.45 million over the course of December alone, encompassing earnings from sites offering activities like slots, poker and other traditional table games, updated for the digital age.
Month on month this represents an increase of $7.65 million, which shows just how much momentum the market has at the moment.
Indeed it’s almost twice the amount of cash taken in by online casinos during December of 2019 when NJ’s various sites accumulated just $49.3 million.
These figures, published by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, demonstrate the extent to which the industry is expanding its influence state-wide, and effectively creating a template for what other states could achieve if they were willing to take a similar route.
Some analysts are so confident in the market at the moment that they expect the total online casino take for 2021 will top $1 billion for the first time. This means that the records set in December are just a prelude to the main event.
An industry on the move
It is worth contextualizing the growth of New Jersey’s online casino market in the wider gambling industry that the state has nurtured for many decades.
Sports betting in particular has become a hugely impactful part of the market, generating the lion’s share of revenues with official stats showing that residents wagered $6 billion in total over the course of 2020 as a whole.
December alone saw sports betting wagers peak at $929 million, another record. While there was a small decline in January of 2021, wagered amounts still sit 75% higher than they were during the same month in 2020.
Of course sports betting wager levels are not the same as actual revenues earned, since players can win back cash from operators if they make a correct prediction. This meant that December’s sportsbook revenues sat at a little over $66 million.
From this perspective, it can be seen that online casino games are making more cash for operators, as well as generating more tax for the state, than sportsbooks alone.
How this relationship will play out going forward remains to be seen, but it is certainly interesting to weigh the different aspects of the industry in order to determine popularity, profitability and relevance to the wider market.
Benefitting from widespread disruption
The one thing which all experts agree on is that online casinos in New Jersey have only been able to consistently generate record-breaking revenues month after month because of the impact that the pandemic has had on everyday life for millions of people.
Lockdowns and restrictions on land-based casino locations have meant that plenty of residents have been given little choice but to make use of web-powered betting services, rather than visiting the bricks and mortar locations that they may previously have been familiar with.
While lots of other industries have undergone a digital transformation as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis, in the case of the online casino industry, it is customers that have had to make the change.
This has played into the hands of NJ’s betting brands, with the amount bet online eclipsing that bet in person over the course of 2020 by almost 10 to 1.
Indeed the losses that land-based casinos have been forced to swallow due to the pandemic have been mitigated to an extent by the growth of online wagering.
And since only operators with a bricks-and-mortar casino presence are allowed to apply for a license to run an online betting site in New Jersey, there is not the opposition that you might find in other industries, such as traditional retail vs. e-commerce, for example.
With double-digit growth projected for the next five years, NJ’s online casino revenues show no signs of slowing down.
Players who have been converted to gambling online by the pandemic are not expected to change their habits once things get back to normal, so it is win-win for operators and regulators alike.