Five Reasons NJ Online Casino Revenue Cruised To Almost $90 Million Again

Written By Bill Gelman on October 19, 2020 - Last Updated on April 25, 2023
NJ online casino september

The NJ online casino industry generated $87.6 million in revenue in September, and that’s good enough for its second-best month ever.

The number is down fractionally from August’s all-time high of $87.7 million.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released the latest report on Oct. 15.

This makes it five straight months in which NJ online casino revenue has soared past $80 million.

Plus, the majority of the license holders saw year-over-year increases of 83% or better. As far as gaming revenue goes, Golden Nugget still holds the crown, but the competition is closing the gap.

With that in mind, here’s a close look at five topics that stand out from the latest revenue report.

1. Borgata + BetMGM gaining market share

The MGM-owned Borgata is the market leader when it comes total gaming revenue. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that $20.3 million of the $64 million Borgata earned for September came via its NJ online casino portfolio.

For one, the number is an eye-popping 191.4% year-over-year increase. Last September, Borgata’s internet gaming revenue came in at a tad under $7 million. The growth of the BetMGM online casino and Borgata Casino online brands can be attributed to this success.

More importantly, Borgata claimed a 23.14% market share, compared to Golden Nugget’s 29.67%. Resorts Digital (led by DraftKings Casino) is the only other license holder that is even close, with a 22.83% position.

The bottom line here is that Borgata is a big contributor to the current NJ online casino streak.

2. Golden Nugget is not surrendering top spot

Golden Nugget online casino is still the operator the rest of the field is chasing. Golden Nugget, as a license holder, earned $26 million for September, and that is nearly $6 million more than its closest competitor.

While the number is strong, it’s down from the previous two months. July’s $31.4 million is the current record. August revenue came in at $27.7 million.

The other brands operating under the license are:

However, Golden Nugget’s year-over-year performance from September 2019, which is up 66.2%, is the number that stands out. This is a big reason Golden Nugget AC is one of the few casinos to see a positive jump in total gaming revenue.

Out of the $37.6 million it earned for the month, only $11.4 million came via the casino floor, and that’s down nearly 30% year over year. However, once it’s combined with the NJ online casino revenue, total gaming is up 16.3%.

The asterisk here is that Atlantic City casinos are still operating at 25% capacity, and there is no word from the state about when this will change.

3. Hard Rock sees biggest percentage jump

While we are on the topic of percentages, the number 230.4% is hard to ignore. This is the year-over-year increase for Hard Rock AC. The license holder earned $6.2 million for the month, which places it fifth out of the seven license holders.

So in that sense, there is plenty of room for growth. At the same time, its NJ online casino revenue is up more than $4.3 million from September 2019.

The Hard Rock brand is the only New Jersey operator currently offering live slots. The product didn’t exist this time last year.

There is also the possibility that European brands Bet365 NJ and Unibet Casino are picking up new players. Both products made their US debuts prior to the 2019 NFL season.

And Bet365’s “World’s Favorite Sportsbook” advertising campaign creates a golden opportunity for cross-selling.

4. Atlantic City casinos + limited capacity

The big “what if” to this whole equation is Atlantic City casinos.

The current NJ online casino streak coincides with the state-mandated shutdown as a result of COVID-19. The closure lasted 100-plus days. Several months since the properties reopened, the casinos and restaurants still aren’t operating anywhere close to full capacity.

The scenario continues to have a significant impact on land-based revenue. September’s $190.6 million is down 15% from September 2019. After NJ online casino and sports betting revenue ($13.5 million for Atlantic City license holders) are factored in, total gaming revenue is actually up 3% for the month compared to the same period last year.

Whether or not gamblers are visiting their AC casino of choice these days, mobile play is the one constant right now.

As we get further into fall, there will continue to be many unknowns regarding land-based operations. The NJ online casino industry is in a different boat right now, and it clearly shows when looking back at the last five months:

  • May: $85.9 million
  • June: $84.9 million
  • July: $87.4 million
  • August: $87.7 million
  • September: $87.6 million

5. NJ online poker or poker rooms

NJ online poker revenue came in at $2,554,216, which is down 16% from September. Caesars Interactive led the field with $1,005,032, which is mostly due to the NJ brand. 888 Poker also operates under the license.

But here’s where things get interesting. Are players going to continue playing online, or do they prefer the excitement of being in a live poker room?

Unlike casino floors, the five Atlantic City poker rooms have been closed since mid-March. This is about to change, as the Borgata Poker Room is reopening on Wednesday morning.

Borgata is opening 30 of the 85 tables, with each limited to seven players. If everything goes smoothly, will the other AC casinos follow?

For now, NJ online poker remains the only option for the players who prefer other poker rooms.

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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