5 Reasons NJ Online Casinos Leapt To A $93.4 Million October Record

Posted By Bill Gelman on November 17, 2020 - Last Updated on December 28, 2020

New Jersey’s online casino industry did it again. The “it” in this case is referring to breaking another monthly record.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released October numbers Friday, and NJ online casino revenue came in at $93.4 million. It tops the previous all-time high of $87.7 million set in August.

But the bigger milestone is that this marks the first time the monthly figure has ever exceeded $90 million. It’s more than a $5.8 million month-over-month increase from September.

Doing a comparison from the same period last year, internet gaming revenue saw a 106.7% increase.

Here are five takeaways we have from the latest DGE report.

Golden Nugget still NJ online casino leader

As far as license holders go, Golden Nugget is still No. 1, with $28.1 million in revenue. While the number would be an all-time record for any of the other six license holders, it’s not the case for the market leader.

If we are tracking all-time highs, October’s result ranks fourth and is off $3.35 million from July’s $31.5 million record. As a license holder, Golden Nugget has reported a minimum of $26 million in monthly revenue since April of this year. Here are the top-four performances:

  • July 2020: $31.5 million
  • June 2020: $29.1 million
  • May 2020: $29 million
  • October 2020: $28.1 million

The totals represent four brands operating under the GN license:

It’s Play NJ’s understanding that Golden Nugget accounts for the bulk of the monthly results.

November should be another strong month, as the operator is celebrating the seventh anniversary of its launch. This includes several special promos available throughout the month. Plus, the brand recently introduced its 777th online slot title, Golden Nugget Stepper.

Race for No. 2 is tight once again

Looking at the seven license holders, three continue to account for the bulk of the revenue.

Golden Nugget still has the biggest market share at 30%, but Borgata and Resorts Digital also each crossed the $20 million mark for October.

The former, led by BetMGM and Borgata online casino brands, reported $22 million for the month. Chalk it up as a new record for the license holder. This is the third month in a row in which the overall market leader placed second.

Clearly, Borgata is building a following in the iGaming space, as it’s up an eye-popping 161.3% for the year.

Resorts Digital, led by DraftKings Casino, finished a competitive third with $21.6 million. The difference between second and third place is merely $450,468.

The next closest was Caesars Interactive with $8.2 million.

So Golden Nugget, Borgata and Resorts accounted for a combined 76.7% market share.

Plus, if we eliminate these three license holders from the October equation, NJ online casino revenue would be $21.6 million. So, as is the case with NJ sports betting, there is a clear separation between the market leaders and other license holders.

However, with Saturday being the official seventh anniversary of the industry’s launch, other operators continue to enter the market.

In other words, Garden State’s online casino industry is still seen as a golden opportunity that is hard to ignore.

Online casino + sports betting = win

If we had to pick two words to sum up October, “record breaking” would certainly be fitting.

You see, the NJ online casino industry wasn’t the only sector to set an all-time high. The NJ sports betting industry set a record of its own by taking in $803 million in bets. In this case, the number is the biggest handle ever reported by a legal US jurisdiction.

At this point, New Jersey is breaking its own records on a monthly basis. The October tally jumped more than $50 million from the previous high set in September.

With the majority of the operators offering customers shared wallets with an integrated platform, the cross-selling concept continues to pay huge dividends.

2020 is going to be a tough year to beat

If we look at the NJ online casino industry numbers year to date, the grand total comes in at $779 million. If we compare it to the same period in 2019, it’s a 102.8% year-over-year increase. Online casino revenue came in at $384.2 million in 2019.

This jump can be attributed to several factors. The first is the industry is riding a streak of six consecutive months with revenue of nearly $85 million or better. Here is a look at the numbers through October:

  • May: $85.9 million
  • June: $84.9 million
  • July: $87.4 million
  • August: $87.7 million
  • September: $87.6 million
  • October: $93.4 million

Looking back at last year, closing in on $50 million was a big deal. December’s online casino total came in at $49.3 million.

But the bigger factor is the fact that Atlantic City casinos were closed for 100-plus days earlier this year as a result of the pandemic. And with no land-based options, more gamblers started playing via mobile and online devices.

Closing in on $100 million in revenue

The big deal at the start of 2020 was hitting $50 million in monthly NJ online casino revenue. That milestone was reached in January. Then $60 million became a big deal.

Fast-forward to today, and there is a new industry standard.

And as long as Atlantic City casinos are operating at 25% capacity and daily positive COVID-19 tests continue to rise, it seems likely that monthly NJ online casino numbers will stay on their current course.

Yes, the hotel and casinos have health and safety protocols in place. However, are gamblers more likely to stay home and play rather than risk being exposed to the virus?

The NJ online casino industry is not dealing with the same unknowns that land-based operators will continue grappling with for the foreseeable future.

And now the industry has cleared $90 million for the first time ever, it raises another question:

Is the first $100 million month suddenly a realistic number?

Until then, $93.4 million is the number to beat.

Photo by Dreamstime stock at PlayNJ
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and now NJ sports betting and online gambling.

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