Seasonal Online Gambling Dip Finally Catches Up To New Jersey

Posted By Steve Ruddock on June 17, 2016 - Last Updated on June 16, 2016

[toc]As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, as New Jersey’s online gaming industry found out in May.

After six consecutive months of record-setting revenue, the industry experienced a small month-over-month decline in May, but still posted the second best month in the industry’s history, tallying $16.5 million in gross gaming revenue.

In addition to ending their six-month streak of record-setting revenue, the state’s seven-month streak of month-over-month growth also came to an end.

This seasonal decline was supposed to transpire last month, but the New Jersey online gambling industry managed to stave off the expected  dip in revenue for an additional month — a testament to the overall strength of the market.

The seasonal decline isn’t an excuse; it’s very real and occurs in global online gaming markets, as well as New Jersey. Historically, revenue decreased in New Jersey from March to April in both 2014 and 2015, but in 2016 it was April to May that saw a dip in revenue.

Industry still on a roll

The state’s record-setting revenue streak may have come to an end, but New Jersey’s online gambling industry is still firing on all cylinders, as it continues to boast an unblemished streak of YoY growth dating back to the November 2013 launch.

The industry is currently on track to generate well over $180 million in 2016. The total year-end tally in was $149 million in 2015, and $123 million in 2014.

Furthermore, gross gaming revenue, New Jersey online casino revenue and online poker revenue were all up 33 percent year-over-year.

This number deserves special attention. After two-and-a-half years, online gaming is still growing by leaps and bounds as the market in New Jersey continues to mature.

April online poker bump holds

Last month, I pondered whether the PokerStars bump would have staying power, and while it’s too early to answer that particular question, we can draw several conclusions based on the May revenue numbers:

  1. The industry as a whole, and the individual operators, leveled off from April to May with a new ceiling emerging.
  2. There wasn’t a decline, despite seasonality.
  3. The cannibalization of Caesars and Borgata ground to a halt.

YoY growth continues

Here is a look at the market’s percentage of YoY changes in 2016:

  • January +26%
  • February +42%
  • March +18%
  • April +34%
  • May +33%

The growth in 2016 is merely a continuation of the trend we saw develop in 2015:

  • January +18%
  • February +9%
  • March +10%
  • April +10%
  • May +19%
  • June +23%
  • July +24%
  • August +16%
  • September +15%
  • October +22%
  • November +51%
  • December +31%

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How did the individual operators do?

  1. Borgata: $3,947,111
    1. Borgata iPoker: $731,863
    2. Borgata iCasino: $3,215,248
  2. Caesars: $3,255,904
    1. Caesars iPoker: $687,287
    2. Caesars iCasino: $2,568,617
  3. Tropicana: $3,147,518
  4. Golden Nugget: $3,200,067
  5. Resorts: $2,995,558
    1. Resorts iPoker: $1,151,703
    2. Resorts iCasino: $1,843,855

Borgata’s supremacy is now tenuous

Borgata held steady on all three fronts in May, posting near identical tallies for online poker, online casino and total online revenue compared to its April numbers.

With its online poker revenue being cut into by the arrival of PokerStars, Borgata is still vulnerable to losing its place as the overall market leader (not just from Resorts, but also Golden Nugget, Tropicana and a suddenly resurgent Caesars), but the casino has tenaciously held onto this mantel since New Jersey launched online gambling back in November 2013.

Considering the seasonal decline, and the leveling off of poker operators, Borgata will likely hang on to the top spot for the foreseeable future.

Golden Nugget top online casino in April

Golden Nugget’s monthly revenue tricked down in May, and it was eclipsed by Borgata as the top revenue-generating online casino in New Jersey in May.

But this shouldn’t be a cause of concern as the casino was coming off a record-setting April.

Tropicana remains picture of consistency

Tropicana’s run of consecutive $3 million months now stands at four, following the casino’s strong May numbers.

The Trop remains the picture of consistency.

Resorts suffers a setback

Resorts had an off month, and considering the bulk of their decline came on the online casino front, it’s a pretty safe bet that a substantial jackpot was hit. Look for a rebound month in June, and for the casino to once again challenge for the overall market lead.

Resorts’ online gaming performance since launch:

  • February 2015: $50,909
  • March 2015: $154,071
  • April 2015: $212,739
  • May 2015: $324,662
  • June 2015: $400,600
  • July 2015: $558,316
  • August 2015: $735,140
  • September 2015: $944,299
  • October 2015: $899,184
  • November 2015: $1,215,832
  • December 2015: $1,288,079
  • January 2016: $1,434,295
  • February 2016: $1,318,338
  • March 2016: $1,878,097
  • April 2016: $3,478,108
  • May 2016: $2,995,558

Caesars has officially turned things around

Caesars is suddenly looking like a player in the New Jersey market, as the company’s online casino is on the ascent and is now generating $2.5 million per month.

This may not seem like a very big deal, considering all of its competitors routinely crack $3 million per month, but compare this to several months ago when Caesars was posting $2 million months, and the outlook brightens.

Caesars’ online poker products have also weathered the PokerStars storm, and like Borgata, Caesars online poker numbers held pretty steady from April to May.

It’s worth note though, the plethora of WSOP satellites could be boosting Caesars’ iPoker numbers, a boost that will likely continue through June and into July.

Historical look at iGaming revenue in NJ

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*Data includes adjustments for seven-figure jackpots paid out in that month (a $1.3 million slot jackpot in June 2014 and a $1.5 million table game jackpot in February 2015).

Be sure to check our New Jersey iGaming revenue page for a detailed breakdown of online gambling revenue in the Garden State.

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Steve Ruddock

Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.

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