Second-Best Is More Than Good Enough For NJ Online Casinos In August

Posted on September 14, 2017

[toc]Just when it looked like New Jersey online casino growth was beginning to slow down, the industry put together a banner month in August.

With almost 40 percent year-over-year growth on the online casino side of the ledger, August was the second-best month to date for New Jersey’s online gaming operators.

August represented the sixth-consecutive month where total online gaming revenue exceeded $20 million, and nearly set a new monthly revenue record, with over $21 million in combined revenue.

Top line online gambling numbers

Here are the top line numbers from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s latest monthly revenue reports:

  • Online casino revenue: $19,196,519
  • Online poker revenue: $2,082,360
  • Total online gaming revenue: $21,278,879
  • Year to date online gambling revenue: $163,278,713

While monthly online casino revenue is fast approaching $20 million, online poker revenue is stuck at around $2 million, with no signs of an uptick on the horizon.

Year-over-year, online poker revenue was down just over four percent. Meanwhile, total gaming and casino revenue continued their trend of year-over-year gains, with online casino revenue up almost 40 percent.

  • Online poker: -4.19 percent
  • Online casino: +38.10 percent
  • Total revenue: +32.38 percent

As seen in the chart below, the New Jersey online gaming industry has yet to experience a year-over-year decline in any month.

Top line takeaways

  • There is renewed top-to-bottom parity in the market
  • Caesars jumps into the number-two spot after a jump of almost 40 percent month-over-month.

Market share analysis: Golden Nugget’s lead shrinks

Golden Nugget and its sub-brands, SugarHouse and Betfair, maintained its market-share lead, but unlike recent months, its competitors are now within striking distance.

Last month Golden Nugget boasted a 30 percent market share, with the next closest operator, Borgata, at 18.4 percent. This month Golden Nugget’s market share is 24.4 percent, with Borgata and Caesars both over 20 percent.

Bottom line: What looked to be an insurmountable lead has nearly evaporated, but as I’ll explain in a moment, it’s likely a blip.

Casino-by-casino analysis

Borgata slips to third place

  • License holder: Borgata
  • Brands and sub-brands: Borgata, Party, Pala, playMGM

Borgata fell to the number-three spot in August, as well as fourth in terms of online casino revenue. But it was still a very good month for the casino considering Borgata hadn’t cracked $4 million since April.

It’s too early to tell what if any impact the addition of playMGM is having.

Golden Nugget falls back to the pack

  • License holder: Golden Nugget
  • Brands and sub-brands: Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse

Golden Nugget is still the clear market leader and grew by 50 percent year-over-year. However, it still gave up a lot of ground in August after four jackpots hit during the month.

Per a press release from Golden Nugget:

Last month, in two days, four fortunate players shared over $800,000 in winnings, including a $271,266 single jackpot win, playing on the New Jersey’s #1 online casino.

The jackpots help explain why Golden Nugget’s revenue slipped 17 percent month-over-month while three of its competitors posted month-over-month gains, including double-digit increases by Borgata and Caesars – Resorts was down six percent.

Tropicana holds steady in the middle of the pack

Tropicana had a solid, if unspectacular August. Revenue rose six percent, which had Tropicana essentially tied with Caesars for the number-two spot behind Golden Nugget in terms of online casino revenue.

Resorts slips a little

  • License Holder: Resorts AC
  • Brands and sub-brands: Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ

With online casino revenue down nearly eight percent MoM, Resorts may have also been the victim of a jackpot in August.

With its slide, and the rise of Caesars, Resorts and its sub-brands were the lowest-grossing online casino group in August. That being said, Resorts is still right in the thick of the trail-pack chasing Golden Nugget.

Caesars vaults into second place

  • License holder: Caesars
  • Brands and sub-brands: 888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP

After a few down months Caesars once again showed why it’s performance continues to be a complete enigma among New Jersey’s online gaming operators.

Out of nowhere, Caesars jumped to second place in the market, with revenue growing 38 percent MoM and 43 percent YoY.

What caused the rise, and whether or not Caesars can sustain these revenue numbers going forward is unclear.

Historical look at iGaming revenue in NJ

Be sure to check our New Jersey iGaming revenue page for a detailed breakdown of online gambling revenue in the Garden State.

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Steve Ruddock

Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.

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