Business Report: Casino surge, state revenue, medical dispensary, new Freshly facility

Atlantic City’s casino industry is bouncing back from last year’s difficult spring when casinos were forced to close their doors in mid-March. Casino and sports betting revenue more than doubled in March compared to last year. And while it’s hard to make solid comparisons considering what was going on last year, industry observers say a number of positive trends are a cause for optimism. In March, sports betting revenue surged as wagers totaled nearly $860 million. Online gambling surged more than 75% to $114 million.

New Jersey’s revenue collections continue to remain strong. The state Treasury department reported tax collections in March were up a whopping 49% over last March, when the pandemic forced business shutdowns. Year to date, total revenue collections are up 8.6%. The bump was in large part due to collections from a business tax that’s designed to be a workaround for the SALT cap. Income tax collections were up 74% and sales and corporate business tax collections also showed double-digit increases.

The state has another medical marijuana dispensary. Zen Leaf opened in Neptune late last week, becoming the 16th in the state. New Jersey has 100,000 patients participating in its medical marijuana program.

The prepared-foods company Freshly has set its sights on South Jersey. It plans to set up a large assembly and distribution center in East Greenwich, which will lead to more than 300 new jobs. The Gloucester County facility is set to open early next year.

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