NJ Online Gambling Revenue

There is perhaps no better indicator of the NJ online gambling industry’s trajectory than the revenue figures that are released monthly by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.

We have compiled those figures dating back to the industry’s infancy, and present them on this page, along with supplementary commentary that details recent and historical performances.

NJ online gambling revenue for March 2018

Last updated: April 12, 2018

March was the third consecutive month in which the NJ online gambling industry set a new revenue record. Yet unlike January and February, when the industry just barely set a new high-water mark, last month saw the previous record get blown out of the water.

Revenue soared 16.3% month-on-month (5.1% after normalizing for March’s shorter length). Overall revenue cracked $25 million, whereas prior to March it had never exceeded $22 million.

Big picture

LicenseeOnline Casino Rev.Online Poker Rev.Total Rev.
Borgata AC$3,960,614$622,620$4,583,234
Caesars AC$3,847,237$564,797$4,412,034
Golden Nugget AC$8,655,240
N/A$8,655,240
Resorts AC$3,455,955$778,949$4,234,904
Tropicana AC$3,694,798N/A$3,694,798
Totals$23,613,844$1,966,366$25,580,210

Last month, the industry generated a total of $25,580,210, representing a stellar 17.6% year-on-year uptick, and beating out February’s then record by $3.59 million.

Online casino operators led the charge once again with $23,613,844, up 21.1% year-on-year, and accounting for an outrageous 92.3% of industry revenue — the most lopsided ratio to date. Casino revenue was up 16.8% month-on-month, but that figure should be taken with a hefty grain of salt, since March was three days longer than February. In actuality the true growth margin was a much smaller, but still impressive, 5.5%.

Online poker revenue ($1,966,366) was up sharply for the month (+10.9%), but on a normalized basis was essentially flat. Year-on-year revenue was down 12.7%, This, despite PokerStars NJ running a miniaturized version of its Turbo Series 2018 and Borgata Poker hosting a quite successful GSSS Spring ’18 edition.

Overall, March’s numbers are cause for celebration. Not only did the industry as a unit shatter its old record, but several operators set records as well. In fact, four out of five casino operators reaped more revenue than ever before, with Tropicana Casino the sole outlier. As usual, Golden Nugget paved the way, breaking its own record for a single-operator for a third straight month. Golden Nugget’s growth was so pronounced that it’s online revenue nearly accounted for one-third of its land-based plus online revenue combined.

Yes, that means for every two dollars won at the land-based Golden Nugget AC, the online network won one.

Market share

As noted, March was yet another titanic month for Golden Nugget AC, whose three operators (Golden Nugget Casino, Betfair Casino, and Play SugarHouse) combined to generate an industry best $8,655,240. Not only was it Golden Nugget’s best month ever, but it crushed its own record (set last month) for a single operator by $770k.

Part of the operator’s success is no doubt tied to its aggressiveness on the promotional front. Both Golden Nugget and Play SugarHouse hold powerhouse promos on a monthly basis, which see players win tens-of-thousands in bonus cash. In February, the Golden Nugget triumvirate saw $790,486 wagered on promotional plays, far more than any other operator (although less than in February).

What’s remarkable about the Golden Nugget’s performance, is not so much that it’s winning, but the margin of victory. The operator blew away it’s closest competitor (Borgata AC) by nearly $4.1 million, despite the latter supporting an online poker network.

Golden Nugget has been atop the industry leaderboards for 22 consecutive months now, and we can’t envision a scenario where it gets usurped anytime soon. The fight for second place, however, is being closely contested, with three operators in the $4.2 million – $4.6 million range.

Of the three, Caesars was the biggest gainer, with its online casino sites generating a staggering 45.4% more revenue than in February. Borgata too saw big gains, as casino revenue was up 21.5%. The operator celebrated a major milestone, becoming the first iGaming operator to take in more than $200 million in revenue.

Tropicana revenue was up 10.4% month-on-month, or effectively flat after normalization.

At 33.8% market share, Golden Nugget AC holds a 15.9% lead over the closest competitors. However, due to the solid performance of just about all the competition, it actually saw its market share dip 2.1% compared to February.

All-time NJ online gambling revenue

The NJ online gambling industry has now generated $792 million in gross gaming revenue since flipping over the open sign four-and-a-half years ago, with over $255 million of that total coming in the past 12 months alone.

Big picture

YearOnline Casino Rev.Online Poker Rev.Total RevenueTaxes Paid
2013$5,157,180$3,211,657$8,368,837$1,464,546
2014$93,812,655
$29,064,097
$122,876,752
$21,503,432
2015$125,063,408
$23,816,772
$148,880,180
$26,054,032
2016$170,197,707
$26,511,723
$196,709,430
$34,424,150
2017$221,346,520$24,259,461$245,605,981$42,981,047

2018$63,844,613$5,690,050$69,534,663$12,168,566

The exact figure for 2017 was $245,605,981, representing an uptick of 24.9% over 2016. Online casino revenue accounted for $221.3 of that total, and was up a blistering 30.1% for the year. The biggest year-over-year gains came in the first ten months of the year, with more tempered gains in November and December.

Operators have now paid nearly $138.6 million to NJ state coffers, with more than $44.7 million coming in the past 12 months.

Market share

The all-time market share lead still belongs to Borgata AC, which dominated the industry revenue charts in the market’s early years.

However, with the rate Golden Nugget is going, we now project that it will surpass Borgata as the lifetime market share leader by the time 2018 comes to a close. Already, the giant has caught Tropicana, and surpassed Caesars last November. This changing of the guard is highly significant, as its lends credence to the idea that smaller land-based brands can beat out industry giants in the online space. It’s at least something smaller casinos in other states will want to consider as they ramp up their iGaming lobbying efforts.

NJ online gambling industry outlook

The NJ online gambling industry not only staved off reaching maturity for another month, it clearly illustrated that there is still room for significant growth. And there are a few interesting developments coming soon that could push annual revenue margins even higher:

  • Hard Rock Casino is coming soon, with the announcement of a launch date on April 18.  The opening will likely be paired with the launch of an online casino.
  • The former Revel is scheduled to reopen sometime this summer. The rebranded Ocean Casino will be looking to increase its presence early, and an online gambling site is one way it can accomplish this. Already it has plans to launch one.
  • By the time the live World Series of Poker rolls around, New Jersey may have already combined its online poker player pools with Nevada/Delaware. Pooling with Pennsylvania could come soon after
  • Mobile casino apps will continue to improve, and operators will grow even more in tune with their patrons’ wish lists.
  • All three Golden Nugget AC properties are trending positive, and there’s no reason to believe that trend will reverse anytime soon. If anything, it appears to be accelerating. The addition of more Live Dealer games will continue to drive growth.

In any case, the recent performance of the market should finally put to rest any doubts over its viability.