New Jersey Online Gambling Operators Are Having A Scorching Hot Summer

Posted By Steve Ruddock on August 17, 2016 - Last Updated on April 8, 2020

[toc]New Jersey’s online gambling industry continues to fire on all cylinders and shows no signs of slowing down, as monthly revenue continues to climb to record highs.

The latest online gaming revenue report released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement this week put total online gaming revenue at $17.3 million; the first time the market has broken through the $17 million ceiling in its three-year history.

The latest revenue record was set in the historically slower month of July, but in New Jersey, July has marked an uptick in 2014, 2015, and now 2016.

The record revenue came largely on the back of $15.3 million in online casino revenue generated by the state’s five online operators: TropicanaCaesars, Borgata, Resorts, and Golden Nugget.

On the flip side, online poker revenue has come back to earth after a short-lived bump following the launch of PokerStars:

  • July 2016 online casino revenue: $15.3 million
  • July 2016 online poker revenue: $2 million

Is NJ online casino approaching its ceiling?

If the current growth trends continue, New Jersey online gambling sites could be flirting with $20 million months by the end of the year.

Over the past four months, the industry posted year-over-year growth of 33-40 percent.

If New Jersey’s online gaming operators can sustain the low-end of this YoY growth, December’s haul would be around $19 million, based on 2015’s tally.

However, now that the state’s online poker revenue has settled back to around $2 million, and seems unable to maintain the bump the industry received following the launch of PokerStars in March, growth could start to slow.

If NJ online casino revenue does start to flatten (which will happen at some point), we may have hit the ceiling for the market, for both poker and casino.

Fortunately, several new products are coming online, from live dealer online casino games to virtual sports. Hopefully, the continued market maturity, and these new offerings, will continue to raise the ceiling.

[show-table name=cta-tropicana]

YoY growth continues

New Jersey’s online gaming industry is now 33 months old, and so far the industry hasn’t posted a single month of year-over-year decline. In fact, it hasn’t even been close, as the smallest YoY increase was 9 percent posted in February of 2015.

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%

And this growth in 2016 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%

NJ Online Gambling Rev

How did the individual operators do?

  1. Borgata: $3,971,138
    1. Borgata iPoker: $608,074
    2. Borgata iCasino: $3,363,064
  2. Caesars: $3,395,666
    1. Caesars iPoker: $648,832
    2. Caesars iCasino: $2,745,834
  3. Tropicana: $3,242,891
  4. Golden Nugget: $3,706,991
  5. Resorts: $3,052,298
    1. Resorts iPoker: $754,199
    2. Resorts iCasino: $2,298,099

Borgata holds on to top spot

Earlier this year it appeared Resorts would challenge Borgata for market supremacy, but with PokerStars’ impact falling well short of expectations, the Resorts threat seems to have been overstated, at least at this point in time.

However, Borgata is starting to face a serious challenge, and surprisingly it’s not from a dual threat (poker and casino) operator, but rather the online-casino-only Golden Nugget.

Borgata still has a key advantage over Golden Nugget, namely online poker.

Another boost for Borgata could materialize now that Boyd Gaming sold its 50 percent stake to MGM, which now has full ownership of Borgata. It will be interesting to see if pro-online gaming MGM ramps up the Borgata’s online offerings.

Golden Nugget sets a record

The online casino ceiling for individual operators seemed pretty solid at $3.5 million, but Golden Nugget raised it quite a bit in July, as the intrepid online casino operator posted an impressive $3.7 million in gross gaming revenue.

Of course, the question now becomes, can Golden Nugget continue to grow or even sustain these terrific numbers?

On that front, Golden Nugget could see further gains after the recent launch of live dealer games, and the site is also working on launching virtual sports products.

Tropicana remains picture of consistency

Another month and another $3+ million for the Tropicana online casino, which continues to be the most consistent performer in the market.

Of note, it looks like Tropicana won’t be capitalizing on the Trump Taj Mahal brand, as the announced closure of the casino amid a labor strike has put the kibosh on an expected online gambling launch.

Resorts rebounds

Resorts has once again eclipsed the $3 million mark, but this time it was in spite of its online poker site, not because of it.

PokerStars has seen its monthly revenue decline in each of the past three months:

  • March: $597,677
  • April: $1,177,837
  • May: $1,151,703
  • June: 778,078
  • July: $754,199

Meanwhile, Resorts’ online casino revenue continues to close the gap on the more established brands in the market.

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

The bottom line takeaway here seems to be to stick to online casino games. Even the mighty PokerStars is finding the New Jersey online poker market too small a player pool to work with.

Caesars back in the mix

Caesars’ online casino revenue is fast approaching the $3 million mark, and it appears its online poker sites (WSOP.com and 888) are going to give PokerStars a run for its money in the market.

Caesars’ turnaround is nothing short of remarkable, considering the company’s online products appeared to be on shaky ground just a year ago when total revenue (online poker and online casino) was at $2.67 million. Fast forward a year and online revenue is up nearly 25 percent.

Historical look at online gambling revenue in NJ

NJ Online Gambling Rev Adjusted

*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 NJ online gambling revenue.

Image credit: littleny / Shutterstock.com

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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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