5 Reasons Why NJ Online Casino Revenue Is Still Driving Past $90-Million Mark

Posted By Bill Gelman on March 19, 2021

The New Jersey online casino revenue streak remains intact. February marks the fifth-straight month in which the seven license holders crossed the $90-million mark.

The official number is $93.8 million, good enough for an 80.4% year-over-year increase. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released the latest data on Tuesday.

Every license holder saw increases of at least 41% from February 2020, the last full month before COVID-19 forced Atlantic City casinos to close for 100-plus days.

Clearly, the NJ Internet gambling industry continues to build on last year’s momentum, setting the stage for what is shaping up to be another record year.

With that being said, here is a look at five reasons why the NJ online casino industry will continue to stay above $90 million in monthly revenue.

1) $94 million in NJ online casino revenue is a solid result, but …

There is no doubt $93.8 million is a solid number, especially when factoring in that February only has 28 days in a non-Leap Year. For comparison purposes, February 2020, which was a Leap Year, produced only $51.9 million.

However, one year later, the result doesn’t even rank in the top two of all time. Just look at the top-five results since October:

  1. January 2021: $103.7 million 
  2. December 2020: $99.4 million
  3. February 2021: $93.8 million
  4. October 2020: $93.4 million
  5. November 2020: $91.8 million

So, at least in the Garden State, the bar is extremely high. But as the year rolls on, will Internet gaming revenue trend closer to, or even pass, the $100-million monthly mark, again? Or is a result in the $93-$94-million range more realistic?

Based on the recent momentum combined with the fact that several additional operators are preparing to enter the market later this year, the NJ online gambling industry is in a strong position to clear the $100-milllion benchmark again in the very near future.

2) BetMGM continues to gain ground

Will 2021 be the year in which Borgata takes over the top spot on the NJ online casino leaderboard? The MGM-owned property is No. 1 in total gaming revenue. However, it continues making a serious push to take over the dominant position in the iGaming sector.

Led by the BetMGM online casino brand (along with Borgata casino online),  the license holder reported $25.7 million in February revenue.  The total is a very close second to the $27.9 million reported by Golden Nugget Online Gaming. So there is a little more than $2-million separating the market leaders.

However, in the case of Borgata, the number that really pops out on the latest monthly report is 216%. That would be the year-over-year percentage increase from February 2020 ($8.1 million). Golden Nugget’s monthly revenue only saw a 41% jump from $19.7 million.

If we break down the February online totals by market share, Borgata had a 27.4% market share compared to GN’s 29.7%. Combined that’s nearly 60% of the market.

Resorts Digital, led by DraftKings Casino, finished third with $19.7 million, for a 21% market share.

3) Golden Nugget equation now includes FanDuel Casino

Golden Nugget Online Gaming (the online are of Golden Nugget AC) is still holding down the No. 1 position thanks to the strength of Golden Nugget online casino.

However, there are now five skins operating under the license with one of them being FanDuel Casino, a fairly new addition to the portfolio. The company didn’t make any formal announcement. New Jersey FanDuel Sportsbook customers used to be transferred to the Betfair casino site (also part of Flutter Entertainment) when they hit the casino icon. While the Betfair brand is still live in New Jersey, online players now head over to FanDuel Casino.

And with March Madness betting taking center stage this month, there is a very good chance the brand will have a very strong performance as a result of gamblers wagering on sports and casino games.

However, this is not the only change. Earlier this month, Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group announced that Betfair is being rebranded as Stardust online casino named after the once famous Las Vegas Resort.

How this impacts Golden Nugget’s online revenue as a whole will be determined over the next several months.

4) Quiet month for NJ sports betting

It’s not surprising that NJ online casinos experienced a small dropoff in February. NJ sports betting handle only came in at $743 million, the lowest amount wagered since August 2020. The result isn’t surprising being that NFL betting season wrapped up with the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

And if you look back and recent performances, the top all-time months for online casino revenue coincide with the stronger months for sports wagering. The last few months serve as a perfect example:

  • January 2021: $103.7 million for online casino/$958.7 million for sports betting
  • December 2020: $99.4 million for online casino/ $996.3 million for sports betting
  • February 2021: $93.8 million for online casino/ $743 million for sports betting

The pattern is likely to continue, especially with the NCAA Tournament taking place followed by The Masters and Major League Baseball, and the NBA Playoffs.

5) NJ online casino vs. Atlantic City wild card

Here we are one year later from when Atlantic City casinos closed their doors, and the online casino industry took off into record territory Obviously, a lot has changed and will continue to change.

Atlantic City casinos and restaurants are now permitted to operate at 50% capacity. Combine it with the warmer weather, and more gamblers may decide to take a break from the online casino apps.

However, it’s highly unlikely that such a scenario will cause online casino revenue to reverse course. There is a convenience of playing blackjack or slots for real money without even leaving home. That is something land-based casinos can not offer.

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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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