It is official. There is no offseason in the world of mobile sports betting and online casino gambling in New Jersey.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement released January’s gambling figures this week. If one of the slowest months of the year (January) is any indication, you better buckle up because 2020 is going to be a wild ride.
Besides all the numbers, this week’s news includes:
- The reintroduction of the XFL.
- An unveiling of a brand new, one-of-a-kind live slots studio.
- A competition between New Jersey and Pennsylvania on the virtual felt.
- Plans filed for the next sportsbook in NJ.
It seems like someone forgot to knock on wood when referencing the slow season. Let’s take a closer look at the headlines in the NJ online gambling market.
Online casinos and sportsbooks in NJ continue to grow
January’s online casino revenue sets the bar very high for 2020.
NJ online casinos, on their own ($53 million) and combined with online poker ($55 million), set more records. Overall, this month’s revenue represents a 60% increase over January 2019.
Even online poker posted its second consecutive month of positive growth. That is saying something for the struggling market.
The NJ sports betting figures were equally as impressive, collecting over $540 million in bets and earning $53.6 million. Online sports betting apps are responsible for nearly 87% of that amount, also a record.
FanDuel Sportsbook continues to lead the way with the majority of the $22.2 million of online revenue attributed to Meadowlands Racetrack.
Overall, NJ sports betting gross revenue comes in at a staggering 185.2% increase over the same period last year.
It is hard to predict how neighboring states coming online will impact the New Jersey gambling market. For now, though, it looks like there is more than enough to go around.
Hard Rock opens first live slot studio
Earlier this week, Hard Rock Atlantic City held a press conference unveiling a brand new live slot studio — the first of its kind.
Customers on the casino floor can see inside the enclosed and locked room that contains 12 slot machines.
Those machines are available to play on the Hard Rock app.
Only one player can play a machine at a time. Just like a regular slot machine on the casino floor, if you want one that is in use, you will have to wait your turn.
Hard Rock is betting on innovation, such as being the first to offer live slots, and to build on the momentum the online casino saw in 2019 with a “brick and click” focus.
PokerStars sets up a duel on the virtual felt
PokerStars NJ just announced that it was bringing its Bounty Builder online poker tournament series to New Jersey. It will run from Feb. 20 to March 1 and include 32 Progressive Knockout events with over $300,000 in guarantees.
But there is one tiny catch. PokerStars is also bringing the same series to Pennsylvania on the exact dates. Pennsylvania’s version of the tournament is almost identical to New Jersey’s, except it offers $500,000 in guarantees.
It is hard to know what PokerStars was thinking by making online poker players pick one tournament over the other rather than stagger the dates and let players play both.
Regardless, it is more than likely that the NJ online poker market will suffer from a competing tournament in a neighboring state.
More NJ gambling news making headlines
The Super Bowl usually means the end of football season, but not this year. The inaugural weekend of the revamped football league, XFL 2020, showcased faster play and a betting-themed broadcast.
Some things worked and other things didn’t. Overall, though, NJ sports betting may help the XFL last longer than one season this time around.
Also making news is the continuing legal drama involving Garden State Park Racing and Cherry Hill.
Garden State Park (GSP) is not waiting for a judge’s decision to tell them whether it can have a sportsbook or not; the company is moving forward anyway.
GSP filed plans with the township planning board seeking approval for its proposal that includes off-track betting, and the board meets Feb. 18. There will be a status update on the court case on March 6.