Is the U.S. online gambling scene feeling the economic crunch?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the daily lives of millions of people around the world. One of the major changes we have witnessed throughout the pandemic has been the closure of entertainment venues. Casinos are a good example and because they are a place where people come together and close in contact with each other, casinos were forced to close their doors during the worst times of the pandemic.
However, while the land-based casino sector was left reeling by COVID-19, the same cannot be said for online casinos. At the time of writing, New Jersey is the largest market for regulated online gambling in the United States and you will find a huge selection of online casinos available to people who reside in the Garden State. In addition to the numerous licensed online casinos, you will also find a number of sportsbooks and online sports betting apps in New Jersey.
Looking at the figures, New Jersey brings in $225 million a year from online gambling and other states, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia have also witnessed strong revenues from online gambling. An online gambling report based on the United States predicted the online gambling market will increase by a compound annual growth rate of 17.32% between 2021 and 2026.
New Jersey is expected to be at the forefront of the growth but there are some early signs that the US online gambling scene is beginning to feel the economic crunch witnessed elsewhere. Between the months of March and April 2021, even NJ saw a drop in revenue, which will come as something of a shock to many people involved in the industry. The total iGaming revenue for the month of March in New Jersey was $113.7 million but it dropped to a figure of $107.7 million, a loss of $5 million.
Sports gambling revenue has also seen a fall between March and April 2021. Total sports betting revenue fell from $60.8 million in March to $54.8 million in April, a drop of $6 million. You must go back to July 2020 to find the last time the average revenue per day dropped in the New Jersey iGaming industry. These figures do not necessarily translate to other states in the country but it will come as a warning to states where revenue has consistently been on the rise for some time.
In terms of the reasons why we have seen a drop in revenue, especially in New Jersey, the opening of land based casinos could be a factor. With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in Atlantic City, more people can return to land based casinos. Some of these people may have turned to online gambling when land-based casinos were closed but would prefer to play casino games in a physical casino than online.
However, by analyzing the figures between April 2020 and April 2021, online gambling in the United States is continuing to rise and it will be interesting to see the difference between the figures come April 2022.
Story by Jon Mayhew