Yesterday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released the gambling revenues for March, showing online gambling enjoying a huge uptick in totals. Players flocked to online casino and poker sites after the casinos in Atlantic City shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. The land-based numbers are only going to get worse as the shutdown continues. Thankfully for the state, they have a backup in iGaming that continues to set new records each month.
For online casino and poker sites in the state, the month of March was lucrative. The combined revenues for both sectors came in at $64.8 million. This is a new monthly record and an increase of over 24% when compared to the $51.9 million earned in February. When compared to March of last year, the percentage is even higher at 65.6%.
Halfway through March, the casinos in Atlantic City shutdown after Governor Phil Murphy issued the order for nonessential businesses to cease operations. The report for the month is the first look at what is to come. April will be even worse as it will be an entire month without land-based gaming.
For players and operators, the upside to the closures is at least they still have online gaming. Of course, the big earner was the Golden Nugget, a brand that took in just over $23 million for the month. The figure was record-setting once again and an amazing 63.7% more than what was earned the previous year. Amazingly, every online casino in the state was able to see an increase in March, except for the Ocean Casino Resort.
The month of March had a few highlights for the state, including reaching more than $60 million for the very first time. Online poker has done well, with a whopping 90% increase when compared to March of last year, with $3.6 million in earnings.
The Borgata saw the largest increase when it comes to March comparisons, earning over 124% more this year, with $12.2 million in revenues. For Resorts Casino, they saw a low percentage increase but still a solid monthly win of $13.5 million. But still a full $10 million under the first place finisher, the Golden Nugget.
Online Poker Boom
For years, states like New Jersey that offer legalized online poker have waited for the game to pick back up again. Online casinos have seen the bulk of revenues with online poker barely able to break the $1 million mark each month. March was an excellent month for online poker and shows that players are logging in.
In New Jersey, poker brands are launching options online due to the land-based casino closures. The Borgata launched the Online Spring Open, a new event, along with the WSOP announcing their Online Super Circuit. PokerStars brought back the New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker and the WSOP has the Online Spring Championships.
With so much to take in, players are logging in to the online poker sites in record numbers. For online poker operators, the shutdown may actually help to stir up interest in the game and help the industry begin to see more player traffic than they have in the past.
The length of the shutdown is unknown right now. If casinos continue to be closed, the online sites are sure to see continued traffic. We are sure to see an increase in April and possibly into June and beyond as the closure continues.