Strong September continues momentum for NJ gaming industry

Matthew Fazelpoor//October 18, 2022//

Strong September continues momentum for NJ gaming industry

Matthew Fazelpoor//October 18, 2022//

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The state Division of Gaming Enforcement released September gaming figures Oct. 17, showing the industry’s continued trend in the right direction as total gaming revenue checked in at $485 million, up nearly 7% from September 2021.

Especially noteworthy were the in-person gaming figures, which is a pivotal stat as casinos try to attract visitors to their facilities in a challenging environment emerging from the pandemic.


“September’s mild weather helped contribute to a strong start to the fall season for Atlantic City’s casino operators,” said Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism, who analyzed the report.

Bokunewicz noted that at $251.7 million, traditional brick-and-mortar gaming revenues exceeded September 2021 ($248.5 million) and September 2019 ($224.5 million) by 1.3% and 12.1%, respectively. Last month, total casino gaming revenue was $431 million, which exceeded September 2021 ($405.1 million) by 6.4% and September 2019 ($283.5 million) by 52.1%

“The nine months ending September 2022 set a steady pace, with Atlantic City’s casinos surpassing the same periods in 2021 and 2019 by 12.5% and 4.0% respectively for brick-and-mortar and 14.5% and 43.9% respectively for total casino gaming revenue,” said Bokunewicz. “At this rate, Atlantic City’s casino operators are likely to meet and potentially exceed pre-pandemic end-of-year totals for both brick-and-mortar and total gaming revenue.”

Following the release of the numbers, New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis put out a statement, remarking that “Atlantic City’s results continue to impress.

“In September, casino win edged last year’s figure by $3 million and it was higher than every September going back to 2012,” said Plousis. “Year-to-date, the casino hotels eclipsed $2 billion in casino win, which is only the second time in eight years that has happened during the month of September.”

Plousis also noted that to date, Atlantic City’s total gaming revenue surpassed $3.5 billion, topping 2019’s pre-pandemic year-end figure of $3.3 billion.

Ahead of the curve

September’s report also showed the continued explosion of internet gaming, with casinos and their partners reporting a $135.2 million win — 10.3% higher than last September.

“Internet gaming win continued to grow and is on pace for another record year,” said Plousis.

East Coast
Gaming Conference

2022 East Coast Gaming Conference
Gov. Phil Murphy was the keynote speaker at the annual East Coast Gaming Conference for the fourth time. – MATTHEW FAZELPOOR

The 25th annual conference came at a particularly opportune moment as the industry emerges from the pandemic, armed with new lessons derived from those tough times while dealing with perilous economic conditions, as well as an uncertain road ahead. Read our roundup here.

“Internet gaming continues to play a significant role in Atlantic City casino gaming operations, accounting for 31.4% of total casino gaming revenue in September 2022 and 34.3% for the year to date,” said Bokunewicz. “As evidenced by the performance of Atlantic City’s gaming operators, internet gaming is the fastest growing segment of the gaming industry.”

Bokunewicz pointed out that at the recent Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, American Gaming Association president Bill Miller called on industry leaders to embrace a digital future.

“According to the American Gaming Association, internet gaming revenue YTD July in the six states that have legalized internet gaming was up 41.1%. New Jersey being the first state to legalize online gaming is positioned well to capitalize on this growth trend,” Bokunewicz explained. “New Jersey is clearly ahead of the curve.”

The return of football last month led to an expected bounce back for sports betting, following the annual summer swoon. The September sports betting handle was $866.7 million, up 58.5% from August, but down 14.3% from September 2021’s handle, which broke the $1 billion mark.

September’s revenue from sports betting, after expenses and paying off winning bets, was just under $98 million, up 50.1% from August and up 18.9% from September 2021.

“Handle numbers are on the rise once again after a long summer of decreases,” TopNJCasinos said in an analysis of the figures. “September saw a nearly 60% rise in bets placed – this can be attributed to the gradual return of a few popular sports to the calendar. Through the end of the year, it’s expected that these numbers will continue to rise to balance out the summer’s losses.”

Notably, the revenue figure is the second-best yet for New Jersey. The No. 1 month on record is November 2021’s $114.8 million.

“In such a consistently strong market, the following months are poised to be record-breaking as well,” TopNJCasinos added.

At a time when the world faces a ton of economic headwinds and hurdles, the September report was a positive one for the casino industry as it continues its journey out of the pandemic, building on a strong summer.

“The success of Atlantic City’s memorable summer has created momentum that is clearly being felt this fall season,” said Plousis. “The casino hotels are providing the right mix of gaming and entertainment opportunities sought by modern pleasure-seekers, making Atlantic City a very competitive regional destination.”