The onset of summer hasn’t really slowed New Jersey online gambling industry. But it seems like the bubble may have burst for NJ online poker after a short spike that accompanied the launch of PokerStars this spring.
New numbers out from the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement showed online gambling generated $16.4 million in the state. That number is down slightly from May, but it still represents one of the best months in the short history of online gambling in the state.
June also saw some new leaders emerge for online casino operators.
Online gambling industry still growing
The slight dip had nothing to do with NJ online casino revenue, which was up an amazing 47 percent from June of 2015.
Numbers generally trend downwards anyway when summer rolls along, with fewer people playing casino games when the weather is nice. But the seasonal downturn seems to have been mitigated by general growth of the market.
Last June, online casino accounted for just $9.8 million. That figure jumped to $14.4 million this June, a number that also eclipsed May’s online casino win ($14 million).
So, if the bad news didn’t come from online casino, it had to come from somewhere.
Online poker, not so much
The disappointing part of the equation comes from online poker.
There had been hope that PokerStars’ entry had expanded the online poker market in a meaningful way. June’s numbers, however, seem to tell a different story.
While online poker was up 33 percent year over year for May, iPoker was up just 7 percent year over year. From this May, poker was down 23 percent.
That number is especially concerning, seeing as there are now three online poker networks to divide up the spoils, instead of the two that existed in June of last year.
Some of the disappointment could be pinned to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, as some regular online poker players likely made the pilgrimage west.
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%
- June +41%
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%
How did the individual operators do?
- Borgata: $3,779,499
- Borgata iPoker: $ 589,002
- Borgata iCasino: $3,190,497
- Caesars: $3,039,892
- Caesars iPoker: $602,103
- Caesars iCasino: $2,437,789
- Tropicana: $3,346,287
- Golden Nugget: $3,533,457
- Resorts: $2,703,042
- Resorts iPoker: $778,070
- Resorts iCasino: $1,924,972
Be sure to check our New Jersey iGaming revenue page for a detailed breakdown of online gambling revenue in the Garden State.
The winners: Tropicana, Golden Nugget
Despite the fact that May has one less day than June, both operators saw sizeable increases in online casino revenue.
Golden Nugget was up more than $300,000 from May, an increase of greater than 10 percent. Tropicana, meanwhile, was up about $200,000 a bump of more than six percent.
The former figure is the most revenue any single operator has earned from online casino only in the history of the state.
Borgata gives ground
Those gains seem to have come at the expense of Borgata, which had been the undisputed leader in NJ online gambling until now.
After nearly passing Borgata casino (not including poker in May), Tropicana and Golden Nugget both surpassed Borgata easily.
With poker included, Borgata still leads the way, but it’s clear the other operators have made significant in-roads. It will be interesting to see if that trend holds up.
Resorts down, because of poker
The poor performance of PokerStars in June led to Resorts having a poor month.
Online casino at Resorts was actually up more than four percent over May. But online poker dipped from $1.15 million to $780,000 from May to June, leading to iGaming revenue declining about 10 percent overall for Resorts.
Whether this is a one-month blip related to gains made by the other poker networks or the WSOP remains to be seen.