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N.J. Gaming Boon: Top Stories, Sports and Business News — August 13

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Here are the stories making headlines on Thursday, August 13.

NBA Playoffs

The NBA playoffs are set to being on Monday, August 17, and seven of the eight match-ups are already set.

Only the Western Conference top seeded Lakers do not know their opponent.

There four teams still in the running for the 8th seed in the West — the Grizzlies, Trail Blazers, Spurs, and Suns. Those four teams will compete in a play-in game to determine which will meet the Lakers in the first round.

As for the rest of the NBA’s playoffs, in the East the Bucks take on the Magic, the Raptors play the Nets, the Celtics tip-off against the 76ers and the Heat look to cool off the Pacers.

In the West the second seed Clippers play the Mavericks, the Nuggets go against the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder try to ground the Rockets.

Daily Coronavirus Update

There are over 20.7 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 750,000 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins, the U.S. has surpassed 5.2 million cases with over 166,000 deaths. According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 56,035 new cases reported Wednesday. 479,048 new tests were reported. And 1,503 deaths were reported yesterday.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that 963,000 Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits in the week ended Aug. 8, down from a revised 1.12 million claims the week earlier. Economists polled by FactSet had been expecting claims of 1.15 million.

Continuing claims, which are the number of people not just filing but staying on unemployment benefits, came in at 15.49 million for the week ended Aug. 1, down from a revised 16.09 million the week before. The continuing claims numbers are reported with a one-week lag, but are considered a better gauge of the labor market.

While trending slightly lower in recent weeks, the numbers continue to reflect companies’ ongoing struggles to remain open, productive and in need of workers, particularly with the

coronavirus’ resurgence in many regions, particularly the South and West, across the country.

A Look at New Jersey Gaming Operators

After the coronavirus shut down the casino and gaming industry across the U.S. in the spring, New Jersey gaming operators saw $264.5 million in revenue in July.

That’s down 21% from a year ago, but some of the Garden State’s gaming areas saw growth compared to 2019. For example, revenue from sports gambling was up 65% compared to July of 2019.

According to New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, the total revenue was $29.5 million from sports gambling. Keep in mind, typically during July only Major League Baseball is in action. But since the NBA and NHL both had to postpone their seasons due to COVID-19, sports gamblers now have three major sports to wager on.

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