5 Reasons Why NJ Online Casino Industry Is Roaring About Record March Revenue

Posted By Bill Gelman on April 20, 2021

The NJ online casino industry is once again in new record territory with $113.7 million in March revenue.  The number crushes the previous all-time high of $103.7 million set just two months ago.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released March results on Friday.

Add in the $93.8 million from February, and New Jersey Internet gambling is at $311.2 million for 2021, good enough for a year-over-year increase of 81.1%. So while land-based results continue to be the bread and butter for all nine Atlantic City casinos, the online casino revenue accounts for 35.4% of the $879 million in total gaming revenue, year to date.

The asterisk here is AC casinos are still operating at 50% capacity.

However, even with the gaming halls welcoming more customers compared to the 25% capacity when they first reopened in July 2020 following a 100-plus day shutdown, gamblers are not losing interest in the online option.

The monthly report includes several other eye-opening numbers. With that in mind, here is a look at five factors that contributed to the best month ever in the six-plus year history of NJ online casino apps.

1) Borgata, BetMGM now leading the pack

One of the bigger headlines from March is how Borgata knocked Golden Nugget Online Gaming out of the top spot.

The news shouldn’t come as a surprise as Borgata has been closing in on GNOG over the last several months. As recently as February, there was a mere $2.2-million difference between first and second.

Then in March, Borgata led by BetMGM along with Borgata online casino flipped the script. Borgata` is now the first license holder in NJ online casino history to earn over $35 million in a month. If  $36.2 million sounds like a biggie, well it is. Prior to this month, the previous monthly high by any license holder came in July 2020 when Golden Nugget earned $31.5 million.

And from a Borgata perspective, the number stands out even more as it’s a 196% year-over-year increase ($12.2 million).

This upward trajectory likely will not be slowing down any time soon as Borgata has shown a similar growth pattern over the last several months. Just look at the previous three months:

  • February 2021: $25.7 million, up 216%
  • January 2021: $28.7 million, up 176.8%
  • December 2020:  $27.1, up 194.2%

So the question now becomes how long will Borgata be the new king of the NJ online casino industry?

2) Golden Nugget Online Gaming enjoys a record month, too

The irony to Golden Nugget Online Gaming falling down to the No. 2 spot is the license holder did not have a bad month. Actually, the $31.7 million is a new monthly record slightly topping the previously mentioned $31.5 million from last summer. Plus it’s a 36.3% increase from March 2020.

The results are a combination of Golden Nugget online casino, Betfair NJ, FanDuel Casino, SugarHouse, and BetAmerica.

GNOG’s performance was good enough for a 27.9% market share for March.

Looking at year-to-date results, GNOG remains slightly ahead of Borgata, $90.8 million compared to $90.6 million. So this battle between first and second could get very interesting as the year continues to unfold.

It’s Play NJ’s understanding that Golden Nugget online casino continues to be the top dog among the top brand operating under the GNOG license. However, going forward, Betfair will no longer be contributing after April numbers are released as the rebranded Stardust online casino app is now available to download in the Garden State. It officially debuted on Monday.

It will be interesting to see if and how quickly the Stardust brand builds a following with NJ gamblers.

3) This time last year …

March of 2020 is tough to forget. The middle of the month is when everything, including Atlantic City casinos and pro sports, shut down. Suddenly the NJ online casino industry was front and center. Last March, however, is when $64.8 million was considered a very big deal and a record at the time.

Anybody who follows NJ online casino revenue numbers closely is well aware that it was just one of many records to fall last year. The days when $40 and $50 million months, which once seemed like a big deal, are now a thing of the past. For March alone, the industry saw a 75.4% year-over-year increase.

Being that this thriving industry has already cleared the $100-million two out of the first three months of 2021, it’s shaping up to be another record year for the Internet gaming industry. The number to beat is $970.3 million set in 2020. At the current rate, it may not even take the entire year to reach $1 billion in online casino revenue.

Clearly, the desire to play slots and table games via mobile devices is still there and will not be slowing down anytime soon.

4) NJ Sports Betting Madness boosts NJ online casino results

NJ sports betting continues to play a significant role in the online casino world. Having two weeks of March Madness betting along with conference tournaments paid big dividends across the board as NJ sportsbook took in $860 million in wagers. March 2021 is the fourth-best month of all time since the June 2018 launch of legal NJ sports betting.

The thing is NJ online sportsbook customers weren’t just placing wagers on Baylor to win it all or UCLA to pull off an upset. Between placing wagers, many of those customers switched over to the casino product. By the way, when online casino revenue crossed the $100-million bridge back in January, NJ sports betting enjoyed its second-best month ever with a $960 million handle. December 2020 is still No. 1 with $996.3 million.

Imagine how big the monthly online casino totals could get when, not if, NJ sportsbooks report over $1 billion in monthly wagers. It will likely take the return of NFL betting to get there, but it’s coming.

5) NJ online casino biz is still growing

Believe it or not, the NJ online casino industry is not finished growing. If you look at the monthly chart from the DGE, the results currently do not include any revenue from Bally’s AC. Besides launching its own brand, PointsBet and theScore also have plans to roll out casino products via  Bally’s license at some point in 2021.

Then there is Ocean Casino Resort, currently a distant seventh in the online casino totals with just $1.3 million in March revenue. At the same time, the total marks almost a 92% increase from March 2020. Keep in mind Ocean and Parx are the only brands currently operating under the license. However, Tipico, who is offering mobile sports betting, is using the words “coming soon” when referencing its casino product. Then there is PlayStar Casino, which announced a partnership with Ocean earlier this year.

And others plan on entering the market, too, likely before 2021 comes to a close.

Sure, these names may not be heavyweights like Golden Nugget, BetMGM, or DraftKings Casino, but the market, while mature, is not finished growing.

So get used to hearing NJ online casino reports $100 million in monthly revenue, again.

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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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