Most states usually take a backseat to Nevada in terms of betting handle as it’s considered the wagering capital of the world. New Jersey is well on its way to fighting for that title themselves after setting an incredible record in gambling intake for August.
Not only did New Jersey shatter the previous record of $614 million in handle by Nevada, they did so with remnants of a COVID-19 lockdown still in place. Being able to claim $668 million in bets after a pandemic is impressive and gives other states around the U.S. optimism to recover from losses over the last six months.
New Jersey Can Thank Racetracks & Atlantic City For Big Month
Race tracks and Atlantic City casinos definitely helped New Jersey reach their record numbers. Combined, the two raked in $326.3 million from bettors in August. Sports betting was responsible for a big chunk of the other $300 million plus of handle.
There’s never been a time like this for sports. In a late September weekend bettors have wagering options of the NFL, college football, the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Finals, and the MLB playoffs. That’s an unprecedented amount of events happening at the same time and it leads a lot of experts to believe next month’s revenue numbers will be even higher.
New ways to bet from home coupled with the return of normalcy for racetracks and casinos is launching New Jersey to the forefront of sports betting. Nearly every sportsbook in the state offers mobile wagering and casinos are putting up great numbers despite having capacity restrictions and safety mandates. It’s a great time to be a gambler in the Garden State.
In a statement issued by Ocean’s CEO, Terry Glebocki stated that, “Our modest year-over-year gaming revenue increase is a testimony to the momentum Ocean managed to create prior to the forced closure. Our momentum immediately resumed once we were allowed to reopen in July.” He went on to say that, “We’re very pleased with our August performance despite a less favorable climate, continuing restrictions on occupancy, and no indoor dining until early September.”
Can New Jersey Repeat With Restrictions Continuing?
Reopening still had some uncertainty according to a statement from Jane Bokunewicz, the coordinator of a gambling and tourism institute at Stockton University. “Even with public health and safety protocols in place, there was a big concern that patrons would not yet feel safe visiting the Atlantic City casinos in person. We were afraid there would be a ‘COVID drag’ on the casino industry,”
Safety issues are a sentiment around the globe right now, as many casino operators were worried about the potential lack of traffic after certain restrictions were lifted. Infection rates could always rise with he uptick in traffic, but the recent record breaking month is an indication that gamblers are ready to get ‘back to normal.’
The good news is it seems like the casinos understand that it is their responsibility to make sure that patrons continue to feel safe. If New Jersey can continue implementing and enforcing proper safety protocols, expect another massive month when September numbers are released.