Online slot and table game revenue hit a record high last month, beating out their previous biggest win by just a hair with a total of $24,142,472. The figure was propelled by strong performances from Golden Nugget, Caesars, Borgata and upstart Hard Rock.
With the few crumbs generated by online poker included, the state’s seven online casino licensees raked in $25,752,461, coming up just shy of the all-time high ($25.89 million) that the industry banked in July.
Hard Rock charges ahead, while Ocean dips
Hard Rock ACs online casino has been operational for three full months, with each month bringing significant gains. In September, the casino took in $648,801 in iGaming revenue, nearly 26% more than it did the previous month. Hard Rock uses a platform provided by Gaming Innovation Group (GIG), and just today announced that it would use the same provider for its live and virtual sportsbook offering.
Ocean Resort opened its doors on the same day as Hard Rock, but didn’t get its online casino up and running until just over a week later. In August, its first full month of operation, the site took in a respectable $385,802, around $100,000 less than Hard Rock, a company with a well-known brand name.
But Ocean, even with its eye-popping $10,000 welcome bonus, is already slipping. In September, the casino-banked $323,906, around $60,000 less than it did the previous month. This could be an alarming signal to the casino, or it could just be that the early numbers were artificially inflated due to the initial wave of registrants clearing their deposit bonuses. Either way, it looks like the road to success will be riddled with hurdles.
Ocean launched with an online casino which, frankly, needed much improvement. Hard Rock, on the other hand, debuted with a solid offering, and has even innovated with features like slots multi-tabling.
But that’s not to say Ocean isn’t working to improve its product. Recently, it added a wave of new games, introduced a solid Android app and is currently offering some potentially lucrative promos. The raft of improvements may pay dividends in this month’s revenue figures, which will be interesting to dissect when they are released in November.
Golden Nugget crushes….again
Golden Nugget, NJ’s iGaming market leader, boasted a win of $9,284,127, just under $100,000 less than its best month ever in June. Comparing that figure year-over-year, the growth is stunning – GN is up a whopping 63% over the same time period in 2017.
Golden Nugget and its partners, Play SugarHouse and Betfair (via the Meadowlands), also operate either live or online sportsbooks in the state, an industry exploding in popularity. Play SugarHouse noted recently that its overall online gambling doubled in September, thanks in part to sports betting.
Is the tri-state WSOP.com/888 compact enough?
WSOP.com/888 is coming off an exciting and action-packed summer. Not only did it link up with sister sites in Nevada and Delaware, it also increased its revenue significantly with myriad tournament series and promotions.
Unfortunately though, the industry as a whole is still on a downward slide. In September, the state’s three poker licensees raked $1,609,989, a 15.4% Y/Y decrease.
And while Caesars, the umbrella site for both 888 and WSOP.com, saw its poker revenue increase by 20% year-over-year, revenue has been on the decline every month since the tri-state poker compact went live. To illustrate that, in September, Caesars took in $671,315 compared with $725,020 in August.
Both Borgata and PokerStars had worrying months as well, with Borgata dropping 37% Y/Y and PokerStars taking a 24% Y/Y hit.
Online sportsbooks crush
One industry that is certainly not in decline in the Garden State is sports betting. Today, sportsbook revenue figures were released, showing a massive increase in handle over August.
Currently, there are eight physical sportsbooks in operation in the state, along with eight virtual sportsbooks. In September, online books destroyed their previous month’s handle with a total of $104.9 million compared with just $21.7 million in August. In addition, we believe that because many online sportsbooks are intimately tied to existing NJ online casinos, the proliferation of sports betting played a role in the online casino industry’s record breaking month.
Several more online sportsbooks are set to launch in the near future, and as the public comes to understand the industry is now legal, we will certainly see even bigger gains in the coming months.
September 2018 iGaming totals
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