NJ Online Gambling Set A New High Water Mark In 2018; Is The Best Still To Come?

Written By Steve Ruddock on January 26, 2019 - Last Updated on January 25, 2019

2018 was another banner year for the New Jersey online gambling industry.

Records fell. Milestones were reached. New products were added. And the not-so-young industry continued to grow at an astounding rate. The now five-year-old industry is showing no signs of reaching a maturity point anytime soon.

In fact, growth is trending up over the last six months, with 2019 poised to be another record-setter.

Tracking online gambling growth 2015-2018

NJ online casinos and poker rooms generated nearly $300 million in 2018.

That’s an astounding 21.6 percent year-over-year increase for an industry that was expected to be approaching full maturity at this point.

Looking back even further, 2018’s numbers and the growth of the New Jersey online gambling industry are even more impressive.

The $298 million generated in 2018 is an increase of 50 percent compared to 2016 and an increase of more than 100 percent compared to 2015.

Let that sink in for a moment: NJ online gambling industry doubled in size over the last three years.


Drilling down even deeper, the growth of the New Jersey online gambling industry has been extremely consistent.

The market can still boast that it’s never posted a year-over-year decline in any month.

Online gambling is a complementary product

It’s important to point out that the growth of NJ online gambling isn’t happening in a vacuum.

After falling from 2007- 2015, Atlantic City casino revenue has risen in each of the last three years.

So, online gambling is not only growing, it’s growing in unison with land-based casino revenue, which is up by the following amounts over that time:

  • 2016: +1.55 percent
  • 2017: +2.16 percent 
  • 2018: +9.18 percent (two new properties opened)

Bottom line: Online gambling has been a key cog in Atlantic City’s turnaround.

It’s provided a new revenue stream for the city’s casinos and helped them engage with a new, younger demographic.

PlayNJ has even made the case that the new casinos, and the thousands of jobs they created, wouldn’t exist without online gambling.

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Online sports betting hasn’t cramped online casino’s style

Online gambling revenue is also growing during a period of hyper-expansion in the state.

Retail and online sports betting have washed up on the Jersey Shore in the second half of 2018, and despite the added “competition” online gambling revenue is on the rise.

In fact, since the launch of NJ sports betting the growth of online casino revenue has accelerated and been above 25 percent in five of the last six months.

This is a trend that PlayNJ expects to continue in 2019.

More online sportsbooks are expected to come online, and the existing online books will continue to integrate more casino products into their offerings.

There are still some lingering questions, but it’s become very clear that online gambling is going to play a key role in Atlantic City’s future.

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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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