For one New Jersey man, being out of work apparently made him some serious money.
A player on Hard Rock’s online casino won a $230,000 jackpot last week on Divine Fortune, an online slot game with a solid 96.6 return-to-player percentage, which is about industry average in New Jersey. His bet was just $5. Divine Fortune is available at other New Jersey online casinos. According to a report, the man identified as Gary M. was recently furloughed from his job.
The $230,000 is one of the largest New Jersey jackpots so far in 2020, but not the largest.
In early February, a pair of $800,000 jackpots were hit at the Borgata online Casino.
There have been 17 six-figure online slot jackpots in 2020.
New Jersey brick-and-mortar casinos closed last month with no timeline for when they will reopen. As a result, online play has ticked up significantly over the past several weeks.
A $667,800 jackpot was won in March 2019 on Borgata’s Lotusland, the state’s largest online jackpot last year. The total money won by jackpot winners, including retail jackpots, was $54.7 million in 2019, up from $39.9 million in 2018. Online play fueled growth.
There were 611 jackpots — defined as wins of $50,000 or more — at the brick-and-mortar and online casinos in 2019, up from 384 such winners in 2018.
In January-March this year, there were 143 of these jackpots, awarding a combined $17.6 million in prize money, according to state figures.
To reiterate: The aforementioned jackpot winnings don’t include prizes less than $50,000.
The number of jackpots so far puts New Jersey on pace for about 430 in 2020, down from the more than 600 in 2019. The state is on pace for more than $53 million in jackpot prizes, not far off from last year’s total, but retail casinos have only been shuttered since March.
Online casinos can’t make up for the closure of the AC casinos.
In 2019, New Jersey online casinos won $461.7 million from gamblers playing slots and table games, a whopping 66.5% increase over 2018.
By comparison, the retail casinos won $1.92 billion from play on slot machines in 2019, up 6.7%.
New Jersey has had online casino gambling since late 2013, but Atlantic City casinos have been around since the 1970s. It will take awhile before online casino gambling revenue overtakes the retail side of things, but that future appears to be on the horizon.
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