5 Reasons Why NJ Online Casinos Reporting $140.7 Million Is A Big Deal

Written By Bill Gelman on April 20, 2022
NJ online casino March results

Stop us if you’ve heard this sentence recently: NJ online casinos set a new monthly record.

Yes, this is becoming routine business when the state releases monthly results. And for those wondering if or when NJ online casino revenue will break the $140-million plateau, the answer is March 2022.

The number is $140.7 million, and it marks the first time in NJ online gambling history the monthly figure exceeds $140 million. The result falls just shy of a national record. More on this below.

How much longer will it take before the next record falls?

Could we be looking at the first $150-million month later this year?

Either way, here are five reasons why these numbers are too big to ignore.

1. $140-million month is a big deal

When it comes to online casinos, New Jersey is the most mature legal US jurisdiction, launching in November 2013. Nearly a decade later, the market is extremely competitive as more and more operators continue fighting over shares of the revenue pie.

Over the last 12 months alone, we’ve witnessed a significant spike. March 2021, which at the time was another record month, saw NJ online casino revenue hit $113.7 million. Compared to the latest results, the market is up 23.7% from the same period last year.

But the big difference these days is the bar keeps moving higher and higher. In January 2021, reporting the first $100-million month in industry history was considered a huge milestone. In reality, the event can now be viewed as a table-setter for the months and years ahead.

Think about it. 2021 also included $120- and $130-million months. Now $140 million is the new benchmark.

These performances aren’t the result of one or two brands having really good months. Out of the eight license holders (Caesars Interactive is a combination of Caesars and Harrah’s Atlantic City), five saw year-over-year increases of 14% or better. Plus another, Bally’s Atlantic City, went from having no skins in the game to two (three as of April).

So this $140-million figure now sets the tone for a potentially even bigger 2022.

By the way, $1.3 billion, which was set last year, is the yearly number to beat.

So far for ’22, the total number stands at $408.5 million, which is up $31.2%. Unless the market crashes, NJ is looking at clearing a half-billion before May.

March 2022 NJ online casino revenue results

LicenseeTotal RevenueSlots & TablesPokerTaxes
Bally's Atlantic City$1,799,769$1,799,769$ -$269,965
Caesars Atlantic City$9,933,592$9,026,120$907,472$1,493,105
Golden Nugget Atlantic City$38,280,684$38,280,684$ -$5,742,629
Hard Rock Atlantic City$5,719,362$5,719,362$ -$857,904
Ocean$2,349,866$2,349,866$ -$356,756
Resorts Atlantic City$30,844,754$30,202,894$641,860$4,626,713
Tropicana Atlantic City$10,364,996$10,364,996$ -$1,554,749

2. Borgata/BetMGM hit $40 million first, will others follow?

Sure the chart above includes several eye-opening numbers, each worthy of the spotlight. However, the Borgata results, led by the BetMGM, Borgata and Party online casino and poker brands, stand out even more.

The Marina District property is the first online license holder to exceed $40 million in a single month. So the $41.4 million is now the new number to beat. Borgata has come close several times over the past year. Like with March’s Atlantic City land-based revenue, the MGM-owned property continues setting the market pace.

There is a good chance Golden Nugget Online Gaming, (led by Golden Nugget online casino) could join them on the $40-million month turf. The former market leader reported $38.3 million for March, a 20.5% year-over-year increase.

3. NJ online casinos had a great March, Pennsylvania’s did better

When it comes to US online gambling bragging rights, two neighboring states are in the middle of a heated (yet friendly) battle over top dog bragging rights.

Monday, the same day New Jersey numbers came out, our friends over at PlayPennsylvania got the first crack. Sure enough, Pennsylvania online casinos set the bar pretty high by reporting $142.7 million. By NJ standards, the number was certainly not out of reach.

However, later in the day, we learned NJ online casinos fell just a tad short of setting a new American record.

Like the NFL rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants (who play home games in East Rutherford), expect this Pennsylvania versus New Jersey battle to remain a hot topic.

In both cases, online casino revenue generates millions in taxes benefiting both states. For March alone, the NJ Internet gaming generated over $21.1 million in tax revenue. The bulk of the money supports the Casino Revenue Fund, which is used solely for seniors and individuals with disabilities programs.

4. One year later, Bally’s AC now has 3 skins

Bally’s Atlantic City as a property is the third oldest out of nine gambling halls. As an online casino license holder, they are the newest player in the NJ online casino game. This is the result of Caesars Entertainment selling the property to Bally’s Corp. (formerly Twin Rivers Worldwide Holdings).

One of the big reasons for entering the Atlantic City market is of course the prosperous NJ online casino business. Getting started requires time and patience. Partnerships with online operators must be lined up. Those companies, like AC casinos, must clear regulatory hurdles. This includes every NJ online gambling app going through intensive testing by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

This time last year, Bally’s still had a blank space under Internet gaming win as a result of no apps being live. Fast-forward one year later, PointsBet and Bally casinos were both live resulting in a $1.8-million month. And the Bally brand didn’t launch until late January.

Keep in mind, Bally Casino is not linked up to the Bally Bet NJ sports betting app yet. This means the opportunity to cross-sell sports and casino players like DraftKings and FanDuel is a work in progress. Coming off a month in which NJ online sportsbooks took in $1.1 billion in bets, offering gamblers both options should generate even stronger results.

Then there is the wild card. Now that Gamesys is part of Bally’s Corp., as of April Virgin online casino falls under the Bally’s AC license. Having been around since 2014, the brand has an established database of Garden State players.

Look for Bally’s to produce bigger numbers for the remainder of 2022.

5. Will NJ online casino revenue crack $150 million in 2022?

When, not will, might be a better way to phrase the above question. Think about it.

NJ online casinos closed out 2021 with $133.2 million for December, which was a new all-time record. Of course the record didn’t last long as January’s total came in at $138 million.

Even February, all 28 days of it, produced $130 million. As mentioned above, numbers are soaring at a much more rapid pace.

There is no doubt brands like BetMGM, Borgata, Golden Nugget, DraftKings Casino will set the pace. Because New Jersey breaks down the monthly results by license holder versus operator (like neighboring Pennsylvania does), confirming the top dogs is somewhat of a guessing game. Only online casino companies and state regulators know that info.

However, achieving the $150M-mark takes the contributions from the entire market, not just the top-five NJ online casino apps. Clearly, NJ online casino players keep coming back to play their favorite slots and table games. Sure there might be a month or two where the results slightly drop off from the previous month. But it seems highly unlikely we are going to see numbers tank by $10 or $20 million.

In Wall Street terms, the NJ online casino industry is a bull market.

By the time next NFL season rolls around, don’t be surprised to see monthly results exceed $150 million.

In terms of NJ beating PA, the monthly race is too tight to forecast. However, Pennsylvania can have overall bragging rights for now.

Photo by Shutterstock
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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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