Memorial Day has come and gone and Atlantic City casinos remain closed. Will AC casinos be open for the July 4 weekend?
There is no indication out of Gov. Phil Murphy’s office either way. In fact, during his weekly briefings, AC casino reopening information has been scarce.
Even though casinos remain closed and sports have yet to return to action, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
Tropicana is the latest casino to release its casino reopening plans. It joins Caesars and Borgata with safety plans in place.
There are other positive signs, too.
Sports are one step closer to returning, a new NJ sportsbook app is preparing to launch, and NJ online poker and online casinos continue to provide gambling entertainment options for those still under lockdown.
Here is a look at the latest NJ online gambling news for the week.
Will the thriving NJ online poker market stick around?
It is no surprise that NJ online casinos are picking up some of the slack with Atlantic City casinos closed.
But what is surprising is the huge numbers online poker in NJ is producing.
With two record revenue months in a row (March and April), online poker has become the darling of the gambling world.
Besides stay-at-home orders throughout the nation for much of the past two months, limited sports betting sent gamblers looking for places to play.
Through April 2020, NJ online poker is 208.7% above last year’s earnings. One major factor that helped bring in over $5 million in rake for April was companies moving traditionally live tournament series online.
Will the momentum last? Or will online poker once again take a back seat when casinos in AC reopen?
There are so many factors that can affect the outcome, including:
- Customers feeling safe
- A changing customer experience
- Ease of online gambling
Online poker in NJ has only brought in over $3 million in rake four times. Two just after the launch in 2013 and the most recent months.
Looking at the history of the market, it seems a safe bet that NJ online poker can’t keep up this most recent pace.
However, nothing will be the same as we emerge from the pandemic. That means we’ll just have to wait and see.
More competition in the NJ sports betting market
Early this week PlayNJ learned the Carousel Group is close to finalizing a deal with an Atlantic City casino.
The deal, which should close within a month, will bring another NJ sportsbook app to market.
Getting a license, however, will take a bit longer. It will most likely be early 2021 before we see the new brand accepting bets.
Carousel Group is a three-year-old company with a mission to build a global gambling brand. It currently includes two brands:
If everything goes according to plan, we should find out which AC casino it is partnering with soon.
Sports in NJ took a baby step toward returning to action
Teams that practice at New Jersey-based facilities can begin training — if they choose. Murphy gave the go-ahead earlier this week.
Sports teams that practice in New Jersey include:
- New Jersey Devils (Newark)
- Philadelphia 76ers (Camden)
- Philadelphia Flyers (Voorhees)
- New York Giants (East Rutherford)
- New York Jets (Florham Park)
This is the first step in reigniting the NJ online sports betting market. Of course, the next step comes from the leagues themselves.
Even with plans in place, though, it will be July before NHL teams return to the ice for formal practices.
Of course, opening training facilities is great news. But it is just one step in what will be a lengthy process. It will likely still be some time before we’re couch-bound on a Sunday with a lineup of games to bet on at our favorite NJ sportsbook.
On the board at NJ sportsbooks
Table tennis and Bundesliga continue to feature prominently at NJ sportsbooks, but this weekend there are two exciting events:
And of course, don’t forget the horses. Besides online poker, horse betting has once again become a favorite during the pandemic.