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Inside Gaming: Another Positive Month for NJ Driven by Online, Sports Betting

The Atlantic City's famed Boardwalk

NJ Casinos Up Again in October, Records Set in Sports Betting

New Jersey continues to show increases in gaming revenue, with the latest report from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement showing the nine Atlantic City casinos collectively enjoyed a 13.6% increase in total gaming revenue year-over-year.

Yesterday's report marks a 17th-straight month the total gaming win in New Jersey has shown an increase.

Adding in revenue from the sportsbooks at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks, the $293.8 million total represents a 22.9% jump over the $239 million of October 2018.

Revenue from online gaming totaled just over $45.2 million for October, an increase of 69% over the $26.7 million of a year ago. Sports wagering (including the racetracks) was also up significantly once again. After totaling a little less than $11.7 million in October 2018, the state's sportsbooks saw almost $49.4 million in revenue in October 2019, a record total for NJ and a huge increase of 297%.

In his comments on the report, Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and senior VP of Tropicana Atlantic City, alluded to NJ's having begun to challenge Nevada when it comes to sports betting revenue, reports The Press of Atlantic City.

"New Jersey sportsbooks have surpassed Nevada's in recent months, and it continues to show significant promise for the gaming industry," said Callender. "We are optimistic as we approach the end of this year that we will finish 2019 out in a strong position."

New Jersey sportsbooks' revenue first exceeded Nevada's in May, though since then the states have traded back and forth the lead with NJ earning the most in July and August, and NV the most in June and September.

Once again, the ability to place sports betting wagers online helped boost that total significantly, with a record $38.7 million in sports betting revenue coming via online. In other words, about 83.4% of revenue earned via sports betting came thanks to bettors placing their wagers online.

As usual, the Borgata led the way with $61.1 million revenue, an increase of 10.5% over a year ago. In fact, nearly all of Atlantic City casinos enjoyed increased gaming revenue during October, with only Bally's Atlantic City reporting a decrease year-over-year (of 6.2%).

Resorts Casino & Hotel's brick-and-mortar casino was down in revenue for the month, but put together with Resorts Digital (online revenue) which more than doubled added up to a better than 48% revenue increase overall (from $22.4M in October 2018 to almost $33.3M in October 2019).

DraftKings and Unibet Join PA Online Sports Betting Market

On New Jersey's western border is Pennsylvania, where legislation expanding gambling significantly in the state was passed in late 2017 and where a couple of years later signs of that expansion are now emerging, especially in the online realm.

Here at PokerNews we've been understandably intrigued by the return of online poker to Pennsylvania where PokerStars launched earlier this month. There's a lot more happening in the Keystone State, however, including the launch of two more online sportsbooks over recent days.

DraftKings has now joined the fray, partnering with the Meadows Racetrack & Casino for the launch of its online sportsbook a week-and-a-half ago. As has been the case elsewhere, DraftKings is expected to compete with rival FanDuel whose FanDuel Sportsbook PA (partnered with the Valley Forge Casino) has dominated the nascent market thus far.

Then this week the Unibet Sportsbook and Casino had its own soft launch, opening for limited hours on Wednesday and Thursday. With Mohegan Sun Pocono as its partner, Unibet's online casino features the largest number of games — 140 of them — of any online casino in PA. However, the Unibet app is Android only at present, while DraftKings is available to both Android and iOS users.

Besides FanDuel, DraftKings and Unibet join PlaySugarHouse, BetRivers, FOX Bet, and Parx to give Pennsylvanians many options for placing their sports wagers online.

Colorado Passes Proposition to Legalize Sports Betting

It was a close one, but after all the votes were finally tallied Colorado's citizens supported a proposition to legalize sports betting in the state. With the approval of Proposition DD, Colorado becomes the 19th state to have legalized some form of sports betting.

It took a full day for the decision to be called, with the Associated Press finally declaring the ballot measure had passed by slim margin of 50.71% to 49.29%.

The measure calls for casino proceeds from sportsbooks to be taxed at 10% with that revenue earmarked to pay for the state's water plan, reports The Denver Channel.

Voters in the cities of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek all also voted in favor of authorizing sports betting in their respective casinos, thus putting them in the front of the line to open sportsbooks once regulations are in place.

According to lawmakers who proposed and supported the measure, sports betting could produce up to $11 million in revenue during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

"The bipartisan proponents had hoped that Coloradans will continue to approve taxes on things formerly illegal — as they did with marijuana — in order to help pay for state programs and to pull sports gambling in the state off the black market," The Denver Channel explains.

It will be a while, though, before we start reporting anything regarding sports betting revenue in Colorado. The Colorado Division of Gaming has until May 2020 to write regulations. According to the proposition, all 33 casinos in Colorado will be eligible to obtain licenses to operate a sportsbook, with online betting also to be allowed.

Photo: "The Boardwalk" (adapted), Hilary Halliwell, CC BY 2.0.

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  • Inside Gaming: Sports betting & online help power another New Jersey gaming revenue increase.

  • New Jersey gaming revenue up again in October; more online sportsbooks launch in Pennsylvania.

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