With Attention Focused On Sports Betting, NJ Online Casinos Continue To Break Revenue Records

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Sports betting fever may have swept through the state over the last several months, but the NJ online casino industry is still breaking records.

In November, the state’s seven iGaming licensees topped their all-time high for the second month in a row, combining for a total of $26.9 million. A record $25.3 million came from table games like blackjack, while a paltry $1.5 million was contributed by online poker sites.

Market-leader Golden Nugget was responsible for the lion share of the profits, but nascent online casinos launched by Hard Rock and Ocean showed impressive gains as well.

Golden Nugget still surging

Last month, Golden Nugget banked $9.2 million, just $400,000 less than the all-time high it hit in October.

While overall online casino growth had started to slow earlier in the year, it has recently picked back up, in part due to Golden Nugget’s impressive gains.

November saw all seven NJ iGaming licensees increase their year-over-year takes. GN, however, stood apart, raking in a massive 50% more than it did during the same timeframe last year. The only other two established licensees to come close were Borgata, which took in $4.4 million (nearly breaking its own all-time record) for a 20% Y/Y increase, and Caesars, which banked 17% more than it did last year.

Sports betting crossover

Golden Nugget may also be benefiting in the online casino space from the advent of legalized sports betting. For the past few months, the site served as the umbrella for SugarHouse Sportsbook. However, the Rush Street Gaming-owned operator subsequently moved its sports license over to Monmouth Park, to avoid restrictions on NBA betting.

Even so, many SugarHouse sports bettors have likely been enticed by online casino games while placing wagers on sports, due to the fact that both sportsbook and casino are offered right on the same website. What’s more, player wallets are shared between verticals making it easier than ever to explore new games on the platform.

SugarHouse officials have even touted the fact that the sportsbook is serving to increase casino revenue, stating that the site has been experiencing crossover traffic.

While SugarHouse Sportsbook may have jumped ship from GN, we expect other sports operators to partner with the brick-and-mortar casino in the future, such as Churchill Downs.

The new kids on the block rock steady

The Garden State’s two newest online casinos, Hard Rock and Ocean online, posted very solid numbers in November, a promising sign for the market. Hard Rock banked $1.3 million, a 29% increase over the previous month, while Ocean took in $732k, a 23% M/M increase.

Hard Rock’s revenue has been on a steady climb since it launched in June, with proceeds spiking sharply from September to October, when revenue jumped from $650,000 to just over $1 million. In November, the site took in $300k more than it did in October, its second-biggest month-on-month increase to date.

Ocean, which launched a few weeks after Hard Rock, doesn’t have nearly the same advantage when it comes to brand recognition. Even so, the casino’s online gambling offering is doing an impressive job of keeping pace with its newest rival.

After a $60k decrease in revenue from August to September, some believed that the Ocean ship was already sinking. However, the company was able to turn things around, making big gains in October and piling on even more revenue in November.

Online poker still bleak

First we’ll start with the good news: Caesars, the licensee which oversees 888poker and WSOP.com, saw its fortunes rise 18% year over year. Overall, however, the online poker industry continues its downward spiral, with the state’s three licensees taking in just over $1.5 million, a 13.7% year-over-year decrease.

With no tournament series to boost revenue, PokerStars saw its take slide by 23% Y/Y, for $530k total.

Stars is slated to open up a companion offering in Pennsylvania under Mount Airy in the near future, something which could help it reestablish its dominance of the U.S. market, which it enjoyed before WSOP.com linked up with sister sites in Delaware and Nevada.

As far as Borgata is concerned, the situation looks more and more dire as each month passes. The site raked in $393k in November, a stinging 32% decrease over the previous year.

Forced to compete against online poker juggernaut PokerStars, as well as with Caesars, which is now active in three states, Borgata Poker NJ may not be long for this world.

November 2018 totals

LICENSEEPOKER REVENUECASINO REVENUETOTAL WINTAX REVENUE
Borgata$393,746$4,401,608$4,795,354$839,187
Caesars$637,318$3,289,516$3,926,834$687,196
Golden Nugget$9,208,190$9,208,190$1,611,433
Hard Rock$1,314,597$1,314,597$230,054
Ocean$731,887$731,887$128,080
Resorts$530,575$3,042,452$3,573,027$625,280
Tropicana$3,394,184$3,394,184$593,982
Month totals$1,561,639$25,382,434$26,944,073$4,715,213
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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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