Seasonal Decline, Not So Much: NJ Online Casinos Set Another Record In April

Posted By Steve Ruddock on May 13, 2016

[toc]Historically, April marks the start of New Jersey’s online gaming industry’s seasonal decline, but this was not the case this April.

April of 2016 wasn’t simply a record-setter for New Jersey’s online gaming industry, it was the most impressive month to date at nearly $17 million in total online gaming revenue.

By all accounts, the impact of the arrival of PokerStars has exceeded expectations.

April was PokerStars’ first full month in the market, and New Jersey’s online gaming industry saw revenue rise 33 percent year-over-year. This easily bested March’s record-setting tally by 14 percent.

March saw the New Jersey online gaming industry eclipse $15 million in revenue for the first time. April saw the industry fall just shy of $17 million and land at $16,980,749.

More importantly, for the first time in a long time the revenue growth was not exclusive to online casino. The effect PokerStars’ launch had on the industry was on full display in April, as online poker revenue was up nearly 40 percent month-over-month, and 30 percent year-over-year.

Thanks to the boost PokerStars gave Resorts (an 80 percent MoM increase), all five of the state’s online gaming operators (Caesars, Resorts, Borgata, Tropicana, and Golden Nugget) are now in the $3 million month club.

This robust competition likely means New Jersey will remain a consumer-friendly market for the foreseeable future.

Records continue to fall

In addition to setting a new revenue record, April was the sixth consecutive month the New Jersey online gambling sites posted a new revenue record.

The industry can also lay claim to:

  • Seven consecutive months with MoM growth.
  • An unblemished record of YoY growth dating back to the November 2013 launch.

Casino still king of New Jersey

Despite the significant month-over-month jump in poker revenue, New Jersey online casinos continue to account for the bulk of the monthly revenue generated by the state’s online gaming operators: 85 percent.

Does the PokerStars bump have staying power?

The addition of PokerStars has led to a number of important questions, such as: Can the New Jersey market support three online poker platforms?

But the most important question centers around the industry as a whole, and not how the individual operators perform. That questions is: Will the bounce in online poker traffic and online poker revenue provided by PokerStars last, and if so, for how long?

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%

Somehow, despite tremendous growth in 2015 (see below) New Jersey’s online gaming industry is doing better in 2016.

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

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How did the individual operators do?

  1. Borgata: $3,983,139
    1. Borgata iPoker: $745,819
    2. Borgata iCasino: $3,237,320
  2. Caesars: $3,157,870
    1. Caesars iPoker: $664,189
    2. Caesars iCasino: $2,493,681
  3. Tropicana: $3,056,349
  4. Golden Nugget: $3,305,283
  5. Resorts: $3,478,108
    1. Resorts iPoker: $1,177,837
    2. Resorts iCasino: $2,300,271

Borgata’s supremacy is now tenuous

Borgata was the hardest hit by PokerStars’ arrival, as the casino’s online poker revenue dropped some 30 percent from March to April.

With online casino revenue relatively static, Borgata dipped back below the $4 million mark for the first time since December of 2015, and is now in danger of losing the title of top grossing online gaming operator in New Jersey to Resorts.

Borgata has laid claim to the honor every month since the industry launched 30 months ago.

Golden Nugget top online casino in April

Golden Nugget had a strong April, allowing GN to overtake Borgata as the top online casino revenue generator for the month.

The casino posted its best month to date with revenue of $3,305,283. Interestingly, Golden Nugget’s previous high water market was April of 2015, when it tallied $3,304,446 in revenue.

Tropicana remains picture of consistency

Tropicana saw monthly revenue dip ever so slightly from March to April, but the company’s online casino revenue was still over $3 million.

Resorts poised to be the market leader

April of 2016 is all about Resorts.

Last month I wrote:

“… with a full month of PokerStars, Resorts could join Tropicana, Golden Nugget, Caesars, and Borgata in the $3 million per month club as soon as next month.”

It seems I understated what the addition of PokerStars would reap for Resorts. Not only did Resorts blast past the $3 million mark, but with its online poker and more importantly, online casino growth it appears poised to overtake Borgata in the not-so-distant future.

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

Caesars weathers PokerStars’ arrival

Caesars’ online gaming revenue was relatively flat MoM, as its 20 percent decline in online poker revenue was offset by modest online casino gains (7 percent).

Historical look at online gambling revenue in NJ

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*Data includes adjustments for 7-figure jackpots paid out in that month (a $1.3 million slot jackpot in June 2014 and a $1.5 million table game jackpot in February 2015).

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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