NJ Gambling News: New Jerseyans Win Big, Online Poker Keeps Raking It In

Written By Derek Helling on April 16, 2020 - Last Updated on December 12, 2023
New Jersey gambling news

It was a great week for a couple of lucky New Jersey online casino customers. In other NJ gambling news, there are more opportunities for other NJ residents to do the same this week.

One NJ online gambling site is offering a special contest for sports buffs. Also, for those who prefer gaming at brick-and-mortar facilities, there’s news about that, as well.

A first look at the economic impact of AC casino closures

On Wednesday, the Division of Gaming Enforcement released March’s gambling revenue report. It is the first look at the financial impact of the closure of Atlantic City casinos.

As expected, AC casinos and sportsbooks took a beating and NJ online casinos posted some impressive numbers.

Overall, total NJ gaming revenue was down 44.4%, which is the direct result of the Atlantic City casinos being forced to close on March 16.

Online casinos and poker sites earned a combined $64.8 million in March. It is another record-setting number, likely higher than it would have been if AC casinos were open. That figure represents a 24.7% increase compared to February and a year-over-year increase of 65.6%. The complete NJ online casino revenue report is broken down here.

New Jersey sports betting handle for March was $181.9 million. It is a significant drop from the nearly half-billion in bets reported in February. Sports betting revenue was $13.2 million, down 58.4% compared to last year.  For a detailed look at March’s NJ sports betting revenue, click here.

One online casino hasn’t been able to capitalize on growing its online presence. The BetAmerica online casino and sportsbook remain offline.

Talk of a post-pandemic Atlantic City begins

Atlantic City casinos feed the economy and it is far beyond sending tax money to the state. There is a whole host of businesses and industries that rely on the casinos to stay in business. With AC casinos closed, what the future of a post-pandemic Atlantic City looks like raises a lot of questions.

PlayNJ’s Brian Harris offers a positive review of the robust return of those facilities later this year. In his article, he makes it clear that Atlantic City will rebound. It’s what it does.

“I think we will see the city continue to adjust to the new gambling landscape,” said David Schwartz, a gambling historian at UNLV.

“Sports betting and online betting will continue to grow in importance. Anything that gives people a reason to visit Atlantic City in person when there are plenty of places to gamble closer to home — including home — will be key.”

NJ online casino players win big

A frontline hero from Little Ferry, nurse Michael Catala earned a $20,000 prize from BetMGM. He correctly filled out a bracket for the NBA 2K Tournament that included several NBA stars. BetMGM matched that prize amount in a contribution to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.

Catala spoke about his win:

“I watched every game live on my phone throughout the entire tournament. I had a really good feeling about this the whole time until the finals came and there were two people in front of me. I thought for sure at least one of them also had (Devin) Booker.”

Meanwhile, NJ’s Gary M won a jackpot of over $230,000 playing online casino. Wagering just $5 on Hard Rock’s Divine Fortune, Gary smashed the previous jackpot record for Hard Rock’s online slots just a month after the previous record of $226,170 was set.

NJ residents seeing jackpots like that from playing online slots might further increase the bump in action that Hard Rock’s products are already experiencing. Lee Tertoth, vice president of online gaming product for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, had the following to say about that:

While we are unable to share any specific numbers with you, we can tell you that players are responding positively to our online offerings.”

More NJ residents may follow in Catala’s footsteps soon. BetMGM has opened up a new daily sports trivia game to NJ players. Unlike online casino games, it doesn’t require you to make any wager.

On the board at NJ sportsbooks

There is good news for NJ horse bettors. Horses continue to run to empty grandstands at several tracks across the country. In NJ, betting takes place on TVG. Here in New Jersey, Monmouth Park revised its summer schedule. The good news is the Haskell Invitational is still on.

Typically, this is the time of year we highlight MLB odds; however, we are in unchartered territory. Even so, we found a few interesting odds boosts on our favorite Philly, Bryce Harper.

Watch as betting on the NFL Draft will take center stage next week. With the draft set to kick off on Thursday, April 23, NJ sports betting fans will likely take more of an interest than in previous years.

While the NFL is preparing for next season, the XFL decided to call it quits and file for bankruptcy.

Finally, BetMGM Sportsbook wants you to keep visiting its mobile betting app. It is offering a free-to-play trivia game with cash prizes.

Here’s how to play:

  • To take part in the game, simply download the BetMGM app or navigate your desktop browser to the site.
  • Register for or log into your account.
  • Follow the prompts for the trivia quiz game from there.

Each day at 9 a.m. EST, the site will post 10 new sports-related trivia questions. You have 10 seconds to answer each one correctly in succession. If you miss one, you’re done for the day. Each correct answer grants you a point. There are both daily and weekly prizes for those at the top of the leaderboards.

The top daily prize is $500 and the top weekly prize is $1,000, so it could add up quickly if you know your stuff.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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