December 17th, 2020 | Last updated on December 17th, 2020
The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hit New Jersey casinos in a different way than the first.
The initial wave of coronavirus cases swept across the United States swiftly and with many unknowns. In nearly every state, government and health officials ordered all nonessential businesses closed indefinitely. It was sudden and devastated many. In New Jersey, casinos were just some of the businesses that remained shuttered for months, relying solely on internet gaming for revenue.
The second wave has been a less dramatic but even more serious hit from the pandemic. While the numbers of positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been soaring, governors have been less inclined to shut everything down completely. Since there are measures that people can take in many situations to prevent the spread of Covid-19, most states like New Jersey have resorted to restrictions.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has been implementing stricter limitations throughout November and into December. He has permitted casinos to remain open at only 25% of their peak capacity.
Even so, many people have chosen to heed the warnings of health officials and stay home, at least steer clear of public places like casinos. That prompted November revenue to dip significantly in November across all verticals, per the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
November 2020 Online Poker Revenue
Online poker revenue dropped once again.
And the drop was more significant than the previous month. The only growth that online poker saw in 2020 was in March, April, and July. The downturn of 37% in August was serious, though September was 16% and October only 1.4%. From October to November, the drop worsened again.
There is a positive side, in that the year-on-year growth remains impressive. The gains of 2020 have not entirely disappeared. In fact, the YoY numbers remain higher than 60%.
–November 2020 online poker win: $2,396,617
–October 2020 online poker win: $2,517,774
–November 2019 online poker win: $1,492,494
—Month-on-month: 4.8% decrease
—Year-on-year: 60.6% increase
Casinos will likely remain at 25% capacity through December, though if the number of positive cases and deaths continue rising, Governor Murphy could shut them down entirely. That decision will affect the performance of online poker this month and dictate if online poker will be able to end the year on a positive note.
November 2020 Online Casino Games Revenue
Most months, the realm of online slots and table games shows growth, sometimes downright impressive growth. In a year when players turned to online gaming more than in years past when no live action was available, the online games became the stars of the New Jersey gaming sector. And the online slots and table games, which had already been on a years-long upswing, did the same in 2020.
A slight stall in progress in June and July didn’t overshadow the overall successes of these games since inception and especially during this tough year. This month, another slight downturn stopped growth temporarily, but it fell in line with every other part of New Jersey gaming in November.
–November 2020 online casino games win: $89,430,573
–October 2020 online casino games win: $90,933,749
–November 2019 online casino games win: $47,645,412
—Month-on-month: 1.65% decrease
—Year-on-year: 87.7% increase
Expect growth in this sector in December due to the aforementioned current and possible status of land-based casinos. Online table games and slot games will undoubtedly close the year strong.
Total Internet Gaming Win for November 2020
Of course, both parts of internet gaming trended down in November, which brought the whole number down. Normally, non-poker online games grow enough to cover any losses by the online poker decreases, but it simply wasn’t the case last month.
Year-on-year gains remained impressive, though.
–November 2020 total internet gaming win: $91,827,190
–October 2020 total internet gaming win: $93,451,523
–November 2019 total internet gaming win: $49,137,906
—Month-on-month: 1.8% decrease
—Year-on-year: 86.9% increase
There is no reason to expect anything but positive growth for online gaming as a whole in December to close out a year for the record books.
Sports Betting in November 2020
Revenue dipped for sports betting last month, again in line with other parts of the gaming industry in New Jersey. There are plenty of betting opportunities available as professional leagues press on. And where there are teams playing, there will be bettors wagering.
–November 2020 sports betting win: $50,554,535
–October 2020 sports betting win: $58,508,647
–November 2019 sports betting win: $32,895,546
—Month-on-month: 13.6% decrease
—Year-on-year: 53.7% increase
As with the other sectors, sports betting revenue will likely rise in December.
Total New Jersey Gaming Revenue for November 2020
As chronicled here, every sector of the New Jersey gaming industry took a dive in November. However, land-based casino revenue dove farther down. From October to November, revenue from land-based casinos dropped 21.25%. That pulled the entire industry down further and even created a YoY dip.
A new addition to the things I thought I would never say column: The combined tally of New Jersey’s online casino, online poker, and online sports betting revenue numbers in November is essentially the same as its combined land-based gaming revenue.
— Steve Ruddock (@SteveRuddock) December 14, 2020
The second wave hit the brick-and-mortar properties in Atlantic City the hardest.
–November 2020 total gaming revenue: $288,942,800
–October 2020 total gaming revenue: $338,070,879
–November 2019 total gaming revenue: $305,977,174
–Month-on-month: 14.5% decrease
–Year-on-year: 5.6% decrease
Covid-19 vaccines are in the distribution and production process now. Medical personnel and nursing home patients and workers are receiving the vaccinations first. It will likely be months before members of the general population will receive them.
This means the pandemic will continue to be an issue through much of 2021. Through the holidays and as a result of holiday visits, the numbers will likely continue to get worse for the first couple of weeks into January. After that, though, they should start a downswing.
The returning health of the nation should bring business back to its former glory. A new year should bring a much different – and more positive – gambling story for New Jersey.
Should N.J. casinos close as coronavirus cases spike? We asked 3 experts.
Another COVID-19 shutdown would cost New Jersey casinos millions and put thousands of workers out of work — again.
via @njdotcom https://t.co/iCK6K7iYRv
— Bruno J. Navarro (@Bruno_J_Navarro) November 23, 2020