NJ online casinos had a great run in 2018, reaching record revenue figures and welcoming two Atlantic City casinos back to the boardwalk in June. Now with NJ sportsbooks and the new venues settled in, 2019 will reveal exactly how will online and retail gambling balance each other and whether they will help AC tourism bounce back.
Will NJ Sports Betting Bring More Tourists To Atlantic City?
The effects of NJ sports betting on revenue are indisputable, but the votes on just how well it serves as a tourist attraction are still out.
Major events on the sports calendar like the Super Bowl and March Madness will help shed some light on whether Atlantic City is an attraction for NJ sports betting players. Casino owners are hoping sports wagering will prove to be more than just an entertainment outlet for New Jersey locals, but an investment that becomes the turning point of the Atlantic City tourist industry. If it does, NJ sports betting would be a lot more than a revenue generator.
Right now, Atlantic City tourism is strictly seasonal and desperately needs an offseason attraction to offer to visitors and, hopefully, NJ sports betting will be just that.
That’s not to say there aren’t any obstacles in the way, as Pennsylvania and New York are sure to become competition, as both states have made it clear they want a piece of the sports betting pie. Although New Jersey enjoys the privilege of being the first to sit at the table, PA online casinos plan to go live during Spring 2019, which includes PA sportsbooks. And NY sports betting is making strides toward legalization as well.
Up until now, NJ online casinos and sportsbooks have been able to pull bettors across the border from both places as the only state offering legal sports betting. That, however, is likely to change eventually and Atlantic City will need to give bettors a reason to make the trip with NJ online casinos and sportsbooks will likely be offering more valuable and accessible products.
Are NJ Online Casinos Leaving Less Room For Retail Casinos?
The last few years have shown that Atlantic City casinos aren’t immune to an economic decline after five out of 12 casinos shut down operations. No, the winds are blowing in a more favorable direction and the AC casino market is expanding again.
Hard Rock Atlantic City has replaced the former Trump Taj Mahal and Ocean Resort Casino is now where Revel used to be. It’ll be worth paying attention to whether these two new properties will be able to bring in steady business in 2019, despite the odds being stacked against them.
Many experts believed the New Jersey casino market is overcrowded, especially with NJ online casinos bringing in good business each month.
Will NJ Online Casino Revenue Continue To Grow?
Since 2016, NJ online casino revenue has grown at an impressive and steady rate. Led by Golden Nugget Online Casino, Borgata Online Casino and playMGM, casinos have achieved a 20% annual growth for each of the past three years.
These past few months have raised income even higher. Since August, NJ online gambling revenue has risen over 25%, which is a trend that can be easily explained with NJ sports betting being added to the mix. So far, the two industries are coexisting in seemingly perfect synergy.
Sportsbooks have brought profitable business to NJ online casinos through cross-selling and it’s interesting to see whether this trend will continue. A good storyline to follow will be how Borgata Online Casino does on the market now that the official Borgata Sportsbook is open for business.