NJ Internet Gambling Sites Had Their Third-Best Month Ever In August, While Online Sportsbooks Start Raking In Cash

NJ online casinos were up 16.6% in August, but poker is still largely a disappointment. Sportsbook revenue provides a peak into the future.
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Given the recent trajectory of the NJ online gambling industry, August’s performance almost seems pedestrian, with the market boasting a total win of $24,804,558, a 16.6% year-on-year increase and its third best-month ever.

As expected, the state’s more than 20 iGaming sites dominated the show, combining for $22,988,738 in online casino revenue (+19.8% Y/Y), while poker sites brought in $1,815,820 (-12.8% Y/Y).

In July, the industry enjoyed its best month to date, with a record-breaking total of nearly $26 million. The impressive figure was in part, the product of two new online casino launches (Hard Rock Casino and Ocean Online Casino) and stellar performances by Borgata and Golden Nugget.

Online casino winners and losers

Golden Nugget, the top-level licensee which hosts a self-branded site, Play SugarHouse and Betfair, made the biggest score with $8,172,508, a whopping 57% year-over-year increase. Still, it was a pretty big falloff for the GN over last month, when it broke its own GGR record for a single operator with a $9,328,814 haul.

On August 23, Play SugarHouse launched its own online/mobile sportsbook, which made just over $100,000 during the final eight days of the reporting period.

Borgata showed modest gains last month, taking in $4,215,649, a 16% Y/Y increase and around $200,000 short of its all-time high, which it achieved in July.

PlayMGM, which operates a branded online casino under the Borgata license, opened up its own sportsbook just one day before Play SugarHouse, making just under $50,000 in the final days of the month.

Tropicana took the third spot in terms of online gambling revenue with $3,593,979, a 6% Y/Y contraction.

Resorts Casino, the umbrella site for PokerStars, Mohegan Sun and more recently, DraftKings Sportsbook, posted iGaming revenue of $3,376,052 last month, and impressive 25% gain over August 2017. DraftKings Sportsbook had a ton of success on the online front, racking up $2,970,331 in revenue, bringing the total for Resorts’ digital properties up to over $6.34 million.

Caesars had comparatively the worst month of the bunch, taking a -28% Y/Y hit with gross revenue of just $2,762,945, over $1 million less than its all-time high in March.

New kids on the block show gains

The two newcomers to the NJ online gambling scene, Hard Rock and Ocean Online Casino, showed very positive gains last month. Hard Rock boasted a win $481,803, a 46% month over month increase, while Ocean took in $385,802, a 54% M/M rise.

Interestingly, Hard Rock, with all of its brand recognition, is not that far ahead of Ocean, which is a completely new name to New Jersey internet gamblers. That said, we’ve only seen two months of revenue numbers for the two sites, so it’s very possible that Hard Rock could begin to pull away at a faster clip soon.

Online poker back in the red

There were high hopes that 888’s tri-state poker compact would bring new players to NJ online poker tables. But in reality, it seems that traffic has simply shifted from PokerStars to 888/WSOP.com.

That was further evidenced in August, as state poker licensees raked in $1,815,820, 12.8% less than they did last year. Caesars, the new king of NJ poker, topped the list with $725,020 (+19%), while PokerStars banked $650,983 (-21%). Borgata Poker took an even bigger hit than Stars, sliding 32% year-over-year with a $439,817 win.

888/WSOP.com continued with its summer of attractive promos and tournament series in August with the $1.1 million Coast-To-Coast Classic II. It remains to be seen if the site’s numbers will stay as high once all the flurry of major events has calmed down, but for now it might be safe, given that September is the beginning of the seasonal uptick for online poker, and WSOP.com will soon be giving away 13 Circuit Rings as part of its upcoming MTT series.

At this point, WSOP/888 is the market leader, taking a 40% chunk, with Stars holding 35% and Borgata with 25%.

DraftKings Sportsbook wins big

Numbers were also recently released for state online sportsbooks, which began going live last month.

With the figures now out in the open, it’s immediately clear why global gaming operators are rushing to jump into the NJ sportsbook market.

DraftKings, for its part, banked a whopping $2,970,331 in gross gaming revenue from its book, which was the first to launch in the state. That comes close to the August take of both Trop and Resorts, respectively, and even surpasses that of Caesars, which includes the revenue of not one but multiple sites.

FanDuel launched its brick-and-mortar sportsbook at The Meadowlands in July, and brought its offering online at the start of this month – we won’t see revenue figures for the site until the next DGE reporting period. But the FanDuel product is extremely polished and well-made, so it’s likely to put up big numbers as well.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if that in the near future online sportsbooks skins rival or even eclipse gross gaming revenue taken in by the state’s online casinos, a testament to the vertical’s popularity.

Total August 2018 revenue

Golden Nugget$8,172,508$8,172,508$1,430,189
Hard Rock$481,803$481,803$84,316
Month totals$1,815,820$22,988,738$24,804,558$4,340,798

Total 2018 revenue

Golden Nugget$66,445,159$66,445,159$11,627,903
Hard Rock$817,022$817,022$142,979
Year Totals$14,803,359$175,438,867$190,242,226$33,292,390
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