It’s safe to say that the online gaming industry in New Jersey has fallen into a steady, almost predictable pattern in 2015. Online poker has found its floor and online casino is posting month-over-month gains of 20 percent or more.
Even though the big story will likely be New Jersey’s online gaming operators posting a slight month-over-month decline, if we widen our lens it becomes quite apparent that New Jersey’s iGaming industry had a strong August.
- NJ online casino revenue posted a 23 percent year-over-year increase, and despite a sharp YoY decline in online poker revenue, the industry’s total YoY increase was a robust 16 percent in August.
- The precipitous decline in online poker revenue has definitely leveled off. iPoker revenue has posted very slight increases in July and August, which are historically the industry’s slow season, and it appears monthly iPoker revenue isn’t going to fall much below $2 million.
- The month could have been even better if it weren’t for a single negative outlier: Golden Nugget. That being said, there is a reasonable explanation for Golden Nugget’s sharp August drop-off. I’d be quite surprised if the decrease wasn’t because they had to payout a jackpot in the mid to high six figures.
How did the individual operators do?
Borgata widens the gap
Even though Tropicana edged Borgata to claim the top iCasino revenue generator spot for August, Borgata continues to be the overall iGaming leader thanks to its strong online poker and online casino products.
Earlier this year it looked as if Tropicana or Golden Nugget might overtake Borgata for the overall revenue lead, even though neither casino offers online poker. But this closing of the gap was short-lived, and Borgata is back to outpacing its competitors by close to $1 million per month.
Since the 2015 NFL season has begun, I thought a football analogy would be the best way to describe Borgata’s legal online gambling journey thus far.
After jumping out to a quick 14 point lead in the opening quarter, Borgata’s opposition chipped away and closed the gap, even briefly taking the lead at one point. However, this momentum was short-lived, as just before halftime Borgata regained the lead, and coming out of the locker room it just ran the second half kickoff back for a touchdown.
The game is far from over, but Borgata is back to being in the driver’s seat.
Golden Nugget sees a sharp, perhaps explainable, drop
Golden Nugget got hammered this month, as revenue was down over 17 percent MoM.
The drop was so steep I’d be surprised if we don’t hear about a significant jackpot being hit at GoldenNuggetCasino.com or BetfairCasino.com in the coming weeks.
Tropicana back to #1
Tropicana regained the #1 online casino spot from Borgata, thanks to Tropicana’s small MoM gain coupled with Borgata’s 7 percent drop.
Resorts continues to climb
Another month and another strong performance by Resorts.
The casino now has two online casino skins up and running, ResortsCasino.com and MoheganSunCasino.com. Thanks to the combined power of these two brands, Resorts is looking like a serious threat to be in the “top iCasino operators” discussion by the end of the year.
If you think I’m being overly optimistic I invite you to take a look at Resorts’ online gaming performance since launch:
- February: $50,909
- March: $154,071
- April: $212,739
- May: $324,662
- June: $400,600
- July: $558,316
- August: $735,140
Caesars gains ground
Caesars had a very nice month, as the company’s online poker and online casino products both posted modest gains.
2015 growth continues
Percentage YoY change:
- January +18%
- February +9%
- March +10%
- April +10%
- May +19%
- June +23%
- July +24%
- August +16%
For the first time five months, the iGaming revenue trend lines from 2014 and 2015 began to converge.
Still, August revenue posted a very solid 16 percent YoY increase, and as noted above, it appears Golden Nugget may have paid out a sizable jackpot.
Historical look at NJ online gambling revenue
*Red data points indicate 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.