For those wondering if NJ online casino revenue would exceed $90 million for the second straight month, the answer is yes.
The seven license holders reported a combined total of $91.8 million, good enough for the second-highest month of all time.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released November numbers Monday afternoon.
As a whole, 2020 will go down as an unforgettable year for the NJ online casino industry. For one, the latest numbers show an 87% increase over the same period from 2019. And the year-to-date performance is up 101%.
At the current rate of growth, the concept of the Garden State’s internet gaming cracking $100 million in monthly revenue no longer seems so far-fetched.
Here is a look at five reasons it could happen sooner than we think.
1) Hello, the number is already over $90 million
To put the $100 million scenario into perspective, just look back at where this industry was back in January. At the time, $55 million in online casino revenue seemed like a huge deal. It was the first time the industry exceeded the $50 million benchmark.
And we could do a month-to-month breakdown on how the numbers have skyrocketed since. The reality is NJ online casino operators are now less than $10 million away from hitting a new milestone.
Here is a look back at the growth from the last five months:
- July: $87.4 million
- August: $87.7 million
- September: $87.6 million
- October: $93.4 million
- November: $91.8 million
Yes, there is the little matter of a global pandemic that shut down Atlantic City casinos for 100-plus days. And those same gaming halls have been operating at 25% capacity since around Fourth of July weekend.
The bottom line is, at least for now, gamblers are enjoying the concept of not leaving the house. With winter and those dreaded snowstorms coming, it would seem even more players will at least temporarily give online casinos a spin.
2) Business is down at AC casinos
Getting back to the COVID-19 restrictions, all nine Atlantic City properties are feeling the impact in the all-important casino win category.
In November alone, the nine Atlantic City casinos reported $146.5 million in combined revenue, and that is down 34.6% from the same period last year. Year-to-date, revenue is off 44.9%.
The reality of the situation hits when doing a side-by-side comparison of the online and land-based numbers. For instance, there was a $54.7 million difference between the two figures in November.
The gap could become even tighter over the next few months as a result of restaurants and bars closing at 10 p.m., no live entertainment and the midweek convention business on hold.
Pandemic and restrictions aside, the winter months are typically the quietest for AC casinos. So there is a good chance NJ online casino business will continue to pick up as a result.
So while the idea of $100 million in monthly online casino revenue sounds crazy, the stage is set.
3) Golden Nugget crushes land-based performance
Golden Nugget Atlantic City is still the market leader among the seven license holders. They reported $26 million for the month. Four different brands operate under the license, with Golden Nugget online casino setting the pace.
The other three are:
The DGE does not provide a breakdown of how much each license holder earned. However, there are two other Golden Nugget numbers that show the importance and value of a strong iGaming portfolio.
Golden Nugget’s land-based revenue came in at just $8.7 million, while total gaming revenue was $35.1 million, $26 million of which came via online casino.
So with a 28.3% market share, Golden Nugget continues to play a key role in the industry’s overall success. This is just one example of how gambling via mobile apps seems to be the current preference for NJ gamblers.
4) Hard to ignore Borgata and Resorts
Every license holder continues to see double-digit percentage gains. Actually, Golden Nugget’s year-over-year 37.5% gain was the lowest among the pack.
Borgata, which includes the BetMGM and Borgata online casino brands, continues to make some serious noise. It reported $23.4 million in monthly revenue, up an eye-popping 185% year-over-year. That’s good enough for a 25.5% market share.
Hard Rock (Unibet, Bet365 and Hard Rock) was the only license holder to see a bigger percentage gain (189%).
Add in the nearly $21 million from Resorts Digital, which is the land-based partner of DraftKings Casino and PokerStars, and you have three powerhouses leading the charge to $100 million.
Plus, there are newcomers such as WynnBet and William Hill Casino that are just getting their feet wet with building a NJ customer base.
5) NJ sports betting impact continues
What is now a monthly theme, the rise of online casino revenue coincides with the monthly NJ sports betting records. Garden State bettors once again set a new national mark by placing $931.6 million in November wagers. Yes, that is from one month.
And it shattered the previous high of $803 million set in October.
Being that the majority of operators offer casino and sports customers a shared wallet with access via the same platform, it’s a no-brainer that the cross-selling model continues to pay huge dividends.
And with Super Bowl betting season in the not-too-distant future, the current system could be what pushes internet gaming past the $100-million mark.
5B) Coming soon: NJ online casino’s $1 billion year
This may be a more realistic topic for 2021, but there is suddenly a possibility the NJ online casino industry will produce more than $1 billion in yearly revenue.
The year-to-date number stands at a tad under $871 million with December numbers still to come. So it’s highly unlikely it will happen this year, but a $900 million year is pretty much guaranteed at this point.
However, let’s say the NJ iGaming market settles down next year, especially if restrictions are lifted at Atlantic City casinos. If the seven license holders report an average of $85 million in combined monthly revenue, the grand total will cross the $1 billion plateau.
Plus, now that Bally’s Atlantic City is under new ownership, there will be several more operators joining the NJ online casino space.
And this doesn’t include the other brands that are also planning to launch under other license holders.
Here’s the bottom line: The NJ online casino industry’s growth will not be slowing down anytime soon.