Casinos in New Jersey & Pennsylvania Lose Big in April 2020

Casinos in New Jersey & Pennsylvania lose big in April 2020

Even in U.S. States with the most liberal of online gambling laws, gaming revenues in April 2020 decreased by hundreds of millions of dollars following the bricks-and-mortar casinos closing their doors amid the global health pandemic.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware all have a full legal and licensed online casino gaming industry, including online poker, blackjack, roulette and slots. On the other hand, Nevada, an online poker haven, does not permit other online casino games. Online casino play surged in all three Mid-Atlantic states; however, data figures clearly underline that the online casino boost was not in the same ballpark as the monster losses reported from those states’ land-based casinos.

$274 million loss in NJ & PA alone – DE numbers also bleak

In New Jersey, the April 2020 revenue loss came on the back of a $124 million loss from February to March after the closing of bricks-mortar casinos across the country on March16/17. Factor in the Pennsylvania gambling revenue fall from $304 million the month before to a mere $153 million in April 2020, and that tallies up to a whopping $274 million wiped from those two states gaming revenue numbers in a mere 16-17 days.

Once Delaware also report their full data numbers later in May 2020, it’s expected to round out a trifecta of big losses. Despite a 58% rise of online casino gaming revenue, according to Vernon Kick, director of the Delaware Lottery, the increase in online returns is not expected to recoup the anticipated bricks-and-mortar casino losses:

“Even though we’ve spiked up, it’s still just a drop in the bucket,” Mr. Kick said.

The numbers underline that the pandemic will have significant on the state budgets with legal gaming industries, and state budgets and spending programs will take a hit a result. The losses come at a time when spending on infrastructure and state programs can least afford it terms of job creation for the three Mid-Atlantic States.

Pennsylvania bears the brunt

Because of their higher state taxes, Pennsylvania state revenue has taken the biggest hit with that dropping from $124 million in February to just half that figure in March – $62 million.

On the upside, over the same period, online gaming boomed in Pennsylvania, with overall revenues increasing by an impressive 24%. However, as Doug Harbach, a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesperson explained the increase amounts to a mere $2 million in state tax benefit;

“We certainly have seen an uptick in online play, in particular table games, the biggest being poker. It does not make up for the casino losses. It will not come close to satisfying the tax revenue we’ve been used to.” Mr. Harbach said.

New Jersey fares a little better

The closure of the Atlantic City casinos drove total gaming tax revenues down by 44% compared to March a year ago, and state revenue numbers were disappointing (about $8 million less than February 2020). However, there are more silver linings to the Garden State’s cloud.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported that gaming revenue totals for the month of April 2020 was down approximately 69% – $82.6 million compared to $265.4 million in April 2019. Online casino and online sports betting wins in New Jersey were $80 million in April 2020 compared to $36.6 million in April 2019, reflecting an impressive increase of 118.6%. Total sports wagering gross revenue was $2.6 million for April 2020.

Delaware’s early reports

Delaware, with only three land-based casinos (each operating an online arm), has not yet released their numbers, however, early indicators see a 58% increase in online casino numbers. It’s a number that is expected to matched by the bricks-and-mortar falls elsewhere in Mid-Atlantic States.

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