Online Casino Revenues In New Jersey Keep On Truckin’

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The Atlantic City casino industry’s revenues from online casino gaming have yet to “mature” – and in this case, that is a very good thing.

In its seventh year of operations, the gambling saw a 62% boost in 2019 – and according to figures released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement on Wednesday, January’s bump compared to January 2019 was 64%.

The $55.1 million revenue tally for January included a $21.2 million figure from Golden Nugget alone, making it easily the market leader over Resorts Digital, which came in at $11.9 million.

Resorts has a partnership with Mohegan Sun, but more importantly it has one with DraftKings, which is effectively leveraging its daily fantasy sports business into mobile sports betting in the state – and luring those sports betting customers over to the more profitable online casino side.

While overall market leader Borgata had to settle for third place, its $10.4 million in revenue more than doubled its January 2019 total and more than doubled any other rivals last month.

Online poker, which at times seemed to dominate discussions about legal online gambling options in 2012-13, once again stayed flat in January. At $1.8 million in revenue for the month, online poker is now a relative afterthought for casino bottom lines.

Casino revenues up 8.3% in January

The $21.4 million industry jump in online casino revenues was supplemented by a $14.7 million rise in brick-and-mortar revenues at the city’s nine casinos, to $192.1 million for what remains the industry’s bread-and-butter.

Borgata chugged along in first place at $54.7 million, and Harrah’s did $23.6 million, but the city’s two newest casinos – Hard Rock and Ocean Resort – saw the biggest jumps from 12 months earlier.

A 38% increase for Hard Rock brought it to $21.5 million, and Ocean Casino got virtually the same bump, to $16.9 million.

The news wasn’t as good at Resorts – down slightly to $12.6 million – or at Bally’s, with a double digit drop to $10.7 million that further entrenched it in the market basement.

Remarkably, Golden Nugget’s $15 million in casino win – competitive in the industry – was more than $6 million lower than its online casino “hold,” an industry first.

The casinos do more modest business on brick-and-mortar sports betting, but Borgata leaped almost four-fold to $3.2 million in January. The other major player is Ocean Resort, nearly doubling in the month to $2.3 million.

Harrah’s barely reached $100,000 in January, but even that gain was more than four times as large as January 2019.

News for the industry’s sports betting revenue – which includes the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park and its partners – was superficially record-breaking but ultimately far less so. That’s because wagers taken through Friday, Jan. 31 – two days before the Super Bowl – counted in the revenue column without payouts for the winners. And the state lost more than $4 million on the game, so February will have its own “superficial” look as the books give back a big chunk of January’s gains.

The 15% tax for online casino gaming compared to 8% for brick-and-mortar sites partly leveled that playing field in terms of tax revenue. The traditional gambling brought in $13.6 million versus $8.3 million for online. Combining sports betting revenue from casinos produced a monthly bottom line of nearly $25 million.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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