New And Old Come Together To Set (Another) New Monthly Record For The NJ Online Gambling Industry

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New Jersey online gambling revenue hit an all-time high last month, thanks to record-breaking performances by market-leader Golden Nugget and the upstart Hard Rock and Ocean online casinos.

In total, the state’s seven iGaming licensees raked in $26,753,878 (+30% Y/Y), with $25,100,132 coming from table games and slots and $1,653,746 contributed by online poker sites.

The unstoppable Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget absolutely crushed the competition, while at the same time beating its all-time best, banking $9.67 million, just over $300,000 more than its previous record tally in July. The figure represents an eye-popping 70% gain over the same timeframe last year.

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The licensee, which also encompasses Play SugarHouse and Betfair, is consistently the top earner in the state, and more than doubled the revenue of its closest competitor, Borgata, in October.

Hard Rock breaks seven figures; Ocean bounces back

New Jersey’s two newest online casinos, Hard Rock and Ocean, defied expectations and had stellar months of their own.

Hard Rock took in just over $1 million in October, a 57% increase from the $650k it posted in September.

Each month since its launch in June, Hard Rock revenue has made significant gains – and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing.

Ocean, for its part, surprised last month by raking in nearly $600k, a whopping 84% increase over the previous month.

While revenue at Hard Rock, a well-known brand, was steadily climbing, Ocean’s take had already suffered in September, just its third month of operation. We believed that the decrease was likely caused by players having already completed their initial deposit bonuses, or giving up on them altogether. The September figures did not paint a good picture for the casino’s outlook.

Those fears were quelled, however, with today’s revenue statistics, which show Ocean easily blowing past its last month’s numbers and even its previous all-time high it hit in August.

It seems that the wave of improvements the casino made to its site last month are paying dividends. On October 10, Ocean finally went mobile, launching a much-anticipated Android app. While it certainly wasn’t a unique innovation (nearly all NJ online casinos offer both iOS and Android apps), it does help close the gap between its competitors.

It also sparked interest by offering a bevy of promos. Players enjoyed not just reload bonuses with high monetary caps, but could also duke it out on a weekly leaderboard for a chance at their share of $2,000 in prize money.

While it still trailed Hard Rock by some $400k in October, Ocean’s performance is impressive, considering that it had virtually zero brand recognition before launch.

Hard Rock, on the other hand, is already known by millions across the world and was expected to start off strong. Not to mention, Hard Rock has been especially in tune with its customers, customizing its lobbies with quality games over quantity, offering several lucrative promotions, and a dynamic loyalty scheme. Expect revenue to continue growing as more of the operator’s promised innovations come to fruition.

The rest

In terms of online casino revenue, the state’s four other licensees each gained ground last month, save for Resorts, which saw its fortunes drop by just a hair when compared with the same time period In 2017.

Caesars gained 15% Y/Y, with Borgata gaining 10%, and Tropicana enjoying an 8% increase.

Caesars, Borgata and Golden Nugget might attribute some or their year-over-year success to crossover traffic of players switching between online sportsbooks and online casinos. All three licensees are partnered with skins operating sportsbooks under their respective umbrellas.

PokerStars climbs back on top, but it won’t last

In other news, NJ online poker is still suffering. The state’s three poker licensees raked $1.65 million last month, a 14.5% year-over-year contraction.

When compared with last year, October was not a strong month for PokerStars, but it did manage to beat out WSOP.com/888 in revenue for the first time since those sites linked up with sister sites in Delaware and Nevada.

PokerStars’ October success is almost certainly due to the running of its popular annual New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP), which featured over $1 million in guarantees. Attendance was solid for the series, with only two events failing to hit their targets.

Unfortunately for Stars, in the absence of a well hyped series or promotion, Caesars will likely continue its reign as the top earning NJ online poker site, at least until the PA market opens up.

The news was even worse for Borgata, which has seen its fortunes slide continuously over the past year. Last month, it took in just over $400,000, a disappointing 36% Y/Y decrease.

Total October online gaming revenue

LICENSEEPOKER REVENUECASINO REVENUETOTAL WINTAX REVENUE
Borgata$407,082$3,957,688$4,364,770$763,835
Caesars$606,116$3,302,038$3,908,154$683,927
Golden Nugget$9,674,550$9,674,550$1,693,046
Hard Rock$1,016,822$1,016,822$177,944
Ocean$595,293$595,293$104,176
Resorts$640,548$2,848,252$3,488,800$610,540
Tropicana$3,705,489$3,705,489$648,461
Month totals$1,653,746$25,100,132$26,753,878$4,681,929
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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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