NJ Online Gambling Industry Closed Out 2016 By Setting A New Revenue Record

Written By Steve Ruddock on January 16, 2017

[toc]The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released the final batch of revenue numbers for 2016 last Thursday, and the state’s online gambling operators will enter the new year on an incredibly positive note.

The final month of 2016 saw the New Jersey online gambling industry set a new monthly revenue record, with a tally of $18.4 million in December.

This easily surpasses the previous record of $17.4 million set in June 2016.

Golden Nugget also broke its own record for individual operators, as the network comprised of Golden Nugget, SugarHouse, and Betfair generated an astonishing $4.8 million in December.

Top line numbers

The NJ online casino industry as a whole was up 30 percent year-over-year in December. Individually, online poker was up 6 percent and online casino was up 34 percent for the month.

  • November 2016 online casino revenue: $16.3 million
  • November 2016 online poker revenue: $2.1 million
  • November 2016 total online gaming revenue: $18.4 million
  • Year to date online gambling revenue: $196,709,327

New Jersey has now seen nine consecutive months of 30 percent or greater growth, as poker, casino, and total revenue were all up year-over-year:

  • Online poker: +6%
  • Online casino: +35%
  • Total revenue: +31%

Top line analysis

At $196.7 million, New Jersey fell just short of $200 million in total online gambling revenue in 2016.

But the continued and sustained growth throughout the year, coupled with the numerous innovations (live dealer table games at Golden Nugget) and new websites (PlaySugarHouse.com and PokerStarsNJ.com), has completely dismantled the narrative that the online gambling has been a failure – a narrative that was prevalent just two years ago.

For the year, online gambling was up over 32 percent.

YoY growth continues

Here is a look at the market’s percentage of YoY changes in 2016:

  • January +26%
  • February +42%
  • March +18%
  • April +34%
  • May +33%
  • June +40%
  • July +39%
  • August +32%
  • September +35%
  • October +39%
  • November +30%
  • December +31%

And how this growth is merely a continuation of the trend we saw develop in 2015:

  • January +18%
  • February +9%
  • March +10%
  • April +10%
  • May +19%
  • June +23%
  • July +24%
  • August +16%
  • September +15%
  • October +22%
  • November +51%
  • December +31%

How did the individual operators do?

  1. Borgata: $3,700,850
    1. Borgata iPoker: $625,372
    2. Borgata iCasino: $3,075,478
  2. Caesars: $3,662,569
    1. Caesars iPoker: $667,264
    2. Caesars iCasino: $2,995,305
  3. Tropicana: $2,984,084
  4. Golden Nugget: $4,790,418
  5. Resorts: $3,141,554
    1. Resorts iPoker: $808,849
    2. Resorts iCasino: $2,332,705

Borgata falls… hard

It wasn’t a bad month for Borgata, with total online gambling revenue coming in at $3.7 million, but Golden Nugget’s performance has pushed Borgata back into a distant second place.

More troubling for Borgata is the other NJ online gambling sites that are now nipping on its heels. Caesars nearly eclipsed Borgata in December, and with PokerStars beginning to market its PokerStars online casino and host live poker events, Resorts is also capable of moving past Borgata.

Borgata did eliminate a lot of uncertainty around its online gambling operations, as the casino announced it would be sticking with GVC for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps the contract extension will lead to the two working better together on the promotional and marketing front in 2017?

Golden Nugget the clear leader

Golden Nugget just rewrote what we thought was possible for a single operator in the New Jersey market.

With $4.8 million in online gambling revenue (all from online casino, mind you) it’s clear that operators are capable of posting $5 million months. And we’ve seen online poker operators post million-dollar months in recent history.

Tropicana still holding steady

Tropicana is one of the most interesting case studies in the market. The casino seems to be able to avoid the peaks and valleys seen by other online casinos, and simply holds steady each and every month.

But this consistency seems to come at a price, as Tropicana has struggled to climb much higher than $3 million per month in revenue, while some of its competitors seem to have a higher ceiling.

[show-table name=cta-virgin]

Resorts falls short of lofty expectations

At the beginning of the year I thought it would be Resorts that would be able to overtake Borgata, and while Resorts has done well to gain market share, the addition of PokerStars hasn’t had as big of an impact as I expected.

Resorts’ online gaming performance since launch:

  • February 2015: $50,909
  • March 2015: $154,071
  • April 2015: $212,739
  • May 2015: $324,662
  • June 2015: $400,600
  • July 2015: $558,316
  • August 2015: $735,140
  • September 2015: $944,299
  • October 2015: $899,184
  • November 2015: $1,215,832
  • December 2015: $1,288,079
  • January 2016: $1,434,295
  • February 2016: $1,318,338
  • March 2016: $1,878,097
  • April 2016: $3,478,108
  • May 2016: $2,995,558
  • June 2016: $2,703,042
  • July 2016: $3,052,298
  • August 2016: $2,896,284
  • September 2016: $2,911,044
  • October 2016: $2,741,142
  • November 2016: $3,212,082

Caesars ends 2016 on a high note

I’ve been monitoring Caesars’ rise from the proverbial ash heap throughout the year, but December’s numbers were quite surprising.

Caesars put together its best month to date, and as noted above, nearly caught Borgata – something I would have laid you 100-1 odds on a year ago.

Historical look at NJ online gambling revenue

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

Steve Ruddock Avatar
Written by
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.

View all posts by Steve Ruddock
Privacy Policy