Bumper August In Atlantic City; Sports Betting Races Forward — A Gaming Round-Up

September 17, 2021

By a Biometrica staffer

August proved to be a strong month for the gaming industry in the United States. To begin with, Atlantic City Casinos and racetrack sports betting outlets announced a 31% increase for the month in comparison to the same period in the previous year, CDC Gaming Reports said. 

Figures released on Sept. 16 by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show the nine casinos and three horse tracks that offer sports betting brought in $427.6 million in August, compared with $326.3m in August 2020.

August was the first time casinos were open for a full month after nearly four months of closures and restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Peak summer in the resort produced promising revenue returns for the city’s casinos,” said Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies New Jersey’s gambling industry.

“If pandemic mitigation efforts are successful in lowering transmission rates into the fall and winter and live events continue to return to the resort, we can expect a strong (off-peak) season fueled by continuing demand for experiences,” she added. “The start of the NFL season earlier this month is sure to boost sports gaming revenues moving into the fall.”

Over in Michigan, iGaming operators posted record winnings for the year. In August, iGaming accounted for $97.2 million of the total gaming revenue of $113.1 million. This was up from the previous record of $95.1 million, posted in March.

“Michigan, as well as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, each of which have icasino products, continue to lag the broader regional gaming complex, with respect to Brick & Mortar GGR performance relative to 2019, by a fairly large margin,” analyst Carlo Santarelli with Deutsche Bank was quoted as saying by CDC Gaming Reports.

In Connecticut, sports betting and online gaming seems set to be launched on Oct. 7, Gov. Ned Lamont’s chief of staff said, announcing that the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has given final approval to the state’s revised gaming compacts with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes.

“This critical step in the process of modernizing our gaming landscape here in Connecticut ensures that our state will have a competitive, nation-leading marketplace for wagering both in-person and online,” Lamont was quoted as saying by Fox 61

In Deadwood, South Dakota, the opening up of legal sports gambling in early September is already producing results. The winter months have traditionally been a period of down time in the region, but the opening week of the NFL last week meant that patrons flocked to the historic gold rush town.

“The World Series is coming up… the NFL playoff season is still a long way out. All those events are just different opportunities for us in Deadwood to have these big events that typically happen in our slower time, the winter months,” Josh Thurmes, assistant general manager of the Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, told KOTA.

The Deadwood Gaming Association projected that sports betting could generate $22 million in additional gross gaming revenue, $2.2 million in taxes, and approximately 150 new jobs with a combined income of $6.1 million.

In Maryland, the state’s Lottery and Gaming Commission opened license applications Tuesday for the 17 locations named in the legislation legalizing sports betting in the state. There will also be an additional 23 retail license applications opening up at a future date, Legal Sports Report said. Sports betting was approved in Maryland in November 2020.

Similarly, in Louisiana, eight operators are waiting on sports betting licenses that were approved but that have been delayed by the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. The state approved of a total of 20 licenses earlier in the year, according to Sports Handle.

Meanwhile, in Washington, three more tribes saw their applications for sports betting receive the green light, the News Tribune reported. The granting of licenses to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Shoalwater Bay Tribe, and Muckleshoot Indian Tribe takes the number of tribes approved for sports betting operations to 12 in the state.