NJ Gaming Sites Finish Off 2018 With A Bang, Setting The Bar High For 2019

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NJ online gambling sites have topped their all-time revenue record for the third month in a row, taking in just over $29 million in December. Online casinos brought in $27.2 million of the total, a 45% Y/Y increase, with poker sites raking in a paltry $1.76 million, a 9% year-on-year contraction.

Four of the state’s seven iGaming licensees rounded out the year breaking their own all-time records, leading to the impressive overall revenue figure.

With December’s totals included, NJ’s gaming and poker sites posted a total win of $298.7 million for the year, $53 million more than they made in 2017 (+22% Y/Y).

Top-level December revenue break down

  • December total: $29,008,265
  • Y/Y change: +39.7%
  • M/M change: +7.7%
  • Online poker: $1,764,562
  • Online casino: $27,243,703
  • Tax revenue: $5,076,446

Ending the year on a high note

Several online casinos eclipsed their previous bests last month. Golden Nugget led the charge with a $10.17 million haul, half-a-million dollars more than its previous record which it achieved in October.

Borgata, Hard Rock and Resorts also had record-breaking months, with Caesars coming up just short of its current high mark.

It’s hard to imagine that New Jersey’s exploding sports betting industry hasn’t had a positive effect on online casino revenue. Several casino sites are linked to sports betting online and mobile “skins,” enticing customers to try out the casino with buttons prominently placed on their websites.

Play SugarHouse Sportsbook originally fell under Golden Nugget, but recently transferred its sports license to The Meadowlands. However, the casino license remains with Golden Nugget, and players can simply click an ad on the sportsbook site to cross over to the virtual casino.

FanDuel, also hosted at Meadowlands, is owned by Paddy Power Betfair, which has its own iGaming site under Golden Nugget. FanDuel Sportsbook patrons are redirecting to Betfair after clicking the “Casino” button in the site’s menu, likely adding even more revenue to Golden Nugget’s books.

NJ sportsbook market leader DraftKings, which falls under the Resorts umbrella, recently added a small selection of casino games directly to its online and mobile product, looking to funnel players to games which yield higher profit margins.

Ocean online sinks in December

It’s been a roller coaster ride for Ocean Online Casino, whose revenue has failed to keep pace with Hard Rock’s nascent iGaming site. In November, Ocean had its best month ever, banking $732K, still around $600K less than what Hard Rock booked.

However, in December, Ocean took a major hit, raking in just $478K, a 35% month-on-month decrease. To add insult to injury, it appears Ocean’s brick-and-mortar property is navigating rough seas. It was recently reported that the casino, which only just opened in July, is already being sold to a yet-to-be-named company.

Owner Bruce Deifik, who bought the property at a steep discountm may have bitten off more than he can chew. The casino is struggling to keep pace with its new rival, Hard Rock, and ranks near the bottom in terms of brick-and-mortar revenue. Deifik will retain a minority stake in the company, with the new owners planning to pump $70 million more into the project.

The poker downswing continues unabated

With December numbers included, state poker sites have suffered year-over-year losses in 21 of the last 22 months. Not even the interstate compact with Delaware and Nevada has been able to grow the poker market in the state. In December, licensee Caesars claimed a 41% slice of the pie, with PokerStars taking 34% and Borgata 25%.

Caesars, which hosts WSOP.com and 888 saw a 38% Y/Y increase, due to it joining forces with companion sites out-of-state. PokerStars and Borgata networked sites have suffered at its expense and saw 23% and 30% year-on-year decreases last month respectively.

Year-end totals

2018 was another record-breaking year for NJ gaming sites, with licensees banking 21% more than they did in 2017. Online casino revenue was up nearly $56 million, although online poker dipped by nearly $3 million.

All sites, not including Hard Rock or Ocean, beat their 2017 totals, except for Tropicana, which saw a 3.5% Y/Y decrease. Golden Nugget blew the competition out of the water with a near 53% year-on-year spike and a total 2018 win of $104.8 million, nearly double that of its closest competitor, Borgata.

The state was another big winner last year, adding $52.2 million to its coffers in tax revenue.

Poker and online casino 2018

LICENSEEPOKER REVENUEY/YCASINO REVENUEY/Y
Borgata$5,667,016-24.4%$48,427,32118.0%
Caesars$7,750,17811.0%$37,808,8925.0%
Golden Nugget$104,790,58952.8%
Hard Rock$5,119,989
Ocean$2,765,410
Resorts$7,976,101-18.5%$37,331,62212.5%
Tropicana$41,063,784-3.5%
Year Totals$21,393,295-11.8%$277,307,60725.3%

Total win 2018

LICENSETOTAL WINY/YTAX REVENUE
Borgata$54,094,33711.4%$9,466,509
Caesars$45,559,0705.9%$7,972,837
Golden Nugget$104,790,58952.8%$18,338,353
Hard Rock$5,119,989$895,998
Ocean$2,765,410$483,947
Resorts$45,307,7235.5%$7,928,852
Tropicana$41,063,784-3.5%$7,186,162
Totals$298,700,90222.0%$52,272,658

 

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Bill Grinstead

Bill has over a decade of experience working in diverse aspects of the online gambling space. He is currently focused on legal, US online gaming, which he has reported on since the industry first became regulated in the country.

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