New Jersey Casinos See Nearly 10% Revenue Increase In 2019

New Jersey Casinos See Nearly 10% Revenue Increase In 2019
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New Jersey casinos reported net revenue of $3.161 billion for 2019, an increase of 9.5% from 2018, according to figures released Thursday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

According to the report, gross operating profit for the casinos increased 5.8% to $613.1 million for the 12 months ending December 2019.

The DGE moved back the filing deadline and release of the 2019 fourth-quarter casino figures because of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally due on April 1, the new filing date for the state’s nine licensed casinos, all in Atlantic City, was April 30. The original release day was April 7.

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The fourth-quarter report includes data for the first full year the nine casinos have operated. The Hard Rock and Ocean Resort casinos opened in June 2018.

New Jersey Casinos Fourth Quarter 2019 vs. 4Q 2018

4Q 20194Q 2018Change
Net Revenue$740.5M$704.8M+5.1%
Gross Operating Profit$129.2M$72.3M+78.7%

Fourth-quarter net revenue of $740.5 million was an increase of 5.1% from the $704.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. New Jersey reported $928.9 million in net revenue for the 2019 third quarter, a 2.7% increase over the third quarter in 2018. Gross operating profit in Q4 was $129.2 million, a 79% increase over the fourth quarter of 2018, but down significantly from the $239.4 million posted in the third quarter of 2019.

Before the fourth-quarter results released Thursday, the state had shown revenue growth in each of the first three quarters of 2019 — $704.6 million in the first quarter; $806.8 million in the second; and $928.9 in the third.

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First Quarter Of 2020 Could Be Rough

Casino figures for the first quarter of 2020 are expected to be released on May 22, but they will be missing about half of the month of March. The second quarter will likely be worse depending on when casinos can reopen in the state. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy closed New Jersey’s casinos on March 16. Neighboring New York, which sees a lot of its bettors cross into New Jersey to place wagers and gamble at the casinos, put a stay-at-home order in place on March 22.

Fortunately for New Jersey, it has online casino or poker available to help offset revenue losses from casinos being closed by the coronavirus. Pennsylvania, Delaware and Nevada also have legal iGaming.

New Jersey Casinos Fourth Quarter 2019 vs. 3Q 2019

4Q 20193Q 2019Change
Net Revenue$740.5M$928.8M-20.3%
Gross Operating Profit$129.2M$239.4M-46.0%

New Jersey sports betting was on a record-setting pace for 2020, but that came to a halt in March, usually a huge sports betting month because of NCAA basketball. The state reported $181.9 million in total sports betting handle in March. The $181,908,529 bet with New Jersey sportsbooks in March was down 63.2% from February’s $494,813,807 as sports and casinos were shut down. The March total is down 51.2% from last March’s $372,451,342.

April sports betting figures, with all of the brick-and-mortar casinos dark the entire month, are scheduled to be released May 13.

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