AC Casino Closures Catapults NJ Online Casino Revenue Into Record Territory

Posted on April 15, 2020

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released March’s gambling revenue on Wednesday.

NJ online casinos and poker sites won a total of $64.8 million in March. The record-setting record number is an impressive increase of 24.7% from February’s $51.9 million and 65.6% when compared with March 2019.

Sure, February was a short month, and we are used to seeing records being broken, but overall the report looks much different than what we are used to seeing.

Midway through March’s reporting period, casinos in Atlantic City were ordered closed by Gov. Phil Murphy to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the Garden State.

This report is the first look at the impact of the pandemic on New Jersey’s online casino market.

While land-based casinos were closed for half the month, online casinos in New Jersey remained operational and it shows.

For the past two weeks, we’ve been asking if casino customers would move online during this time. It looks like we have our answer and it is a resounding “yes.”

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March 2020 NJ online casino highlights

It is no surprise that the highest-earning online casino continues to be Golden Nugget with $23.3 million in revenue. The record-setting figure represents a 63.7% increase compared with last March.

In fact, each online casino except one (Ocean Casino Resort) posted record online gambling revenue this month.

Other highlights include:

  • After two months earning more than $50 million, online casinos catapulted themselves above $60 million for the first time.
  • Online poker in NJ continues its strong showing of late posting a record-setting $3.6 million, a 90.6% year-over-year increase.
  • Borgata Atlantic City posted the largest year-over-year increase (124.5%) for its online casino with $12.2 million in revenue.
  • Resorts Atlantic City failed to capitalize on this unique time fully. It posted a disappointing (when compared with other casinos) 8.4% increase over last month. Of course, $13.5 million is still a solid win.

NJ online casinos, by the numbers

Revenue / ∆ Month Over Month / ∆ Year Over Year:

  • Online casinos: $61.2 million / +21.9% / +64.4%
  • Online poker: $3.6 million / +101.9% / 90.6%
  • Total online casino revenue: $64.8 million / +24.7% / +65.6%

March 2020 online casino revenue by operator

OperatorPoker RevenueCasino RevenueTotal Gaming Win
Borgata / Party / BetMGM$825,084$11,396,840$12,221,924
Caesars / Harrah's / 888$1,643,153$5,015,245$6,658,398
Golden Nugget / Betfair / BetAmerica / SugarHouse$-$23,301,487$23,301,487
Hard Rock / Unibet / Bet365$- $3,317,205$3,317,205
Ocean Casino / Parx Casino$- $658,916$658,916
Resorts AC / DraftKings / PokerStars$1,160,875$12,349,028$13,509,903
Tropicana / Virgin$- $5,154,070$5,154,070
Totals$3,629,112$61,192,791$64,821,903

New Jersey online casino winners

Let’s face it; all online casinos in NJ are winners this month. Not only did all online casinos post positive month-over-month and year-over-year revenue, but they remain operational when most businesses have been forced closed.

But looking strictly at market share, where each percentage point equals about $650,000 in revenue, four online casinos grew in March:

Borgata’s rise is likely a result of its strong retail presence. With its physical casino closed, it seems reasonable to think some of those players transitioned to online casino gambling for entertainment.

Caesars’ growth is certainly attributed to its strong poker showing. The WSOP Online Super Circuit tournament series had one of the best poker event showings since last summer’s online WSOP bracelet events.

Tropicana and Ocean Casino both had declining months in February, and their market share gains are likely a correction to last month’s activity.

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New Jersey online casino losers

It is hard to pinpoint losers in a report with so many wins. But if we must, we must.

Of course, if a casino didn’t gain market share, then they lost it. Those by default become our losers:

Certainly, smaller land-based casinos might be at a disadvantage as customers move online. A larger customer base seems to transition into a greater chance of securing more market share.

That might explain the decreases in market share for Golden Nugget and Resorts and why they sent some of their online casino market share to Borgata and Caesars.

However, Hard Rock losing market share so soon after the launch of its live slots product is surprising. Keep in mind it did post record revenue of $3.3 million for the month. That is good for a 103.4% increase over last year.

Golden Nugget and Resorts also posted record revenue and impressive year-over-year numbers of 63.7% and 59.4%, respectively.

So overall, not that much losing going on in the NJ online casino market.

Go, online poker, go

NJ online poker apps are a feather in the cap of stellar March of online casino gambling. The once struggling market has seen a resurgence of late.

Certainly, the closure of AC casinos propelled online poker into record territory this month.

However, there is an energy and excitement that has been missing for years. New offerings such as the WSOP Online Super Circuit and Borgata Online Spring Open is refreshing and players are responding by showing up.

How long with it last? There is no saying.

What we do know is April looks to be another strong month for the market with the PokerStars NJSCOOP series and WSOP Online Spring Championships both running.

No one knows how long stay at home and social distancing restrictions will remain in effect. And even when they are lifted, it could take quite a while before things return to “normal.” It is hard to know what a post-pandemic Atlantic City looks like.

Considering that, look for even bigger numbers next month when April’s online casino revenue report is released.

Kim Yuhl Avatar
Written by
Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl has been covering the US online gambling market since 2013. Her work is featured on various sites and covers sports betting, online casino gambling, and online poker. Kim is a full-time traveler and vlogger and is currently slow traveling to 60 countries. You can follow her travels at kimandway.com and on YouTube at kimandway.

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