New Jersey gambling revenue matches historic $5.2 billion all-time high in 2022

New Jersey’s gambling revenue matched its all-time high of $5.2 billion in 2022, but only half that amount was won by casinos from in-person gamblers, according to figures released Tuesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The data shows the casinos, the horse tracks that take sports bets, and online partners of both types of gambling won $5.21 billion in 2022, up 10% from a year earlier and matching a level last seen in 2006. 

The previous high in 2006 took place just before the advent of casino gambling in neighboring Pennsylvania, which sent New Jersey’s gambling industry into a downward spiral that eventually led to the closures of five of the 12 casinos that were operating at the time. 

In contrast with the high posted in 2022, last year’s figures were reached with a hefty assist from internet gambling and sports betting, which are revenue streams that help contribute to the bottom line but are also heavily shared with third parties such as sportsbooks and tech platforms. 

Market leader Borgata

Sarah Grady, assistant director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling industry, said it took “an enormous amount of work” by the casinos and state government to replicate the levels of 2006, when gambling revenue consisted solely of what was won from in-person gamblers. 

“To compare these returns, it is important to consider how much the market has changed in the past 16 years. To achieve the returns we have today took a substantial expansion and diversification of the New Jersey gaming product to compete with increased competition from neighboring states,” she said, as reported by Associated Press.

However, despite the impressive figures, Mark Giannantonio, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, explained that in 2022, the Atlantic City casino industry “continued to face challenges, including the lingering effects from the pandemic, a difficult economy and high inflation.”

“As we move into a new year, Atlantic City casinos are committed to providing the best possible experience for our customers, which includes making significant investments that will continue to solidify Atlantic City’s position as a world-class resort destination with top-notch dining, shopping and entertainment offerings,” he added, as per AP

Hard Rock AC, the state's second casino in terms of revenue

In-person winnings from gamblers finally surpassed pre-pandemic levels of 2019, a long-sought goal of the Atlantic City casino industry. The casinos won $2.78 billion from in-person gamblers in 2022, compared with $2.68 billion in 2019. But only three of the nine casinos – Borgata, Ocean and Resorts – had more in-person revenue in 2022 than they did in 2019. 

Six casinos had more total gambling revenue in 2022 than they did the year before. Market leader Borgata won $581 million, up 10.2%; Hard Rock won $576 million, up 12.7%; Ocean won $389 million, up 13.6%; Tropicana won $365 million, up 2.9%; and Bally’s won $198 million, up 37.3%.

The remaining three casinos won less the last year than in 2021. Harrah’s won $258 million, down 3.4%; Caesars won $239 million, down 1%, and Resorts won $168 million, down 0.3%. As for iGaming, Resorts Digital, the casino’s online arm, won $546 million, up 21.3%, while Caesars Interactive NJ won $113 million, up 1%.

Ocean casino

In terms of in-person gambling revenue, the Borgata won $724 million, up 19.5%. Hard Rock won $492 million, up 14.2%; Ocean won $356 million, up 16.3%; Harrah’s won $257 million, down 3.2%; Tropicana won $248 million, down 1.8%; Caesars won $235 million, down 0.7%; Resorts won $167 million, up 0.8%; Bally’s won $153 million, up 9.4%; and Golden Nugget won $148 million, up 1.1%.

New Jersey’s casinos and horse tracks took nearly $11 billion worth of sports bets in 2022, just a tiny bit more than they did in 2021. Of that total, the casinos, tracks and their online partners kept $726 million as revenue after paying off winning bets and other expenses.

The 2022 figures got a boost from a strong December, in which total gambling revenue was $454 million, up 12.5% from December 2021. In-person casino winnings were $215 million in December, up 1.8% from a year earlier.