NJ Legal Online Gambling Revenue Numbers And Analysis
Naruscope
Online Poker Report

No Summer Slump For NJ Online Casinos As New Revenue Records Abound

NJ Online Casino Revenues

Contents

New Jersey releases the gross revenue numbers for its regulated online poker sites and NJ’s online casinos each month, generally about two weeks after the close of the month.

July 2016 highlights

  • The difference a weekend makes? July 2016 had five weekends as opposed to four in July 2015 and four in June 2016. It’s difficult to precisely quantify the impact, but the extra weekend is definitely weight on the scale when considering month-to-month and year-to-year projections.
  • Poker’s problems persist. Even with the extra weekend and the addition of PokerStars, online poker revenue in NJ only added 6.7% y/y (vs 44% for casino). With PokerStars’ momentum sputtering, it’s starting to seem unlikely that the site will be able to expand the market – and may not even be able to cover the market’s decline for many more months.
  • Will Golden Nugget be the first entrant to the $4mm casino club? Golden Nugget set a new record for NJ online casino revenue in July with $3.7mm, and with the addition of live dealer games to the site’s roster, it might only be a matter of time before Golden Nugget cracks $4mm.

Topline numbers

Notes: June had one less day than July. The numbers below are not adjusted.

Total / month-over-month change (unadjusted) / year-over-year change (unadjusted). A table with adjusted numbers is provided later in the article.

  • Total: $17.3mm / +5.9% / +39%
  • Casino: $15.3mm / +6.4% / +44%
  • Poker: $2mm / +2% / +6.7%

Poker had a deceptively tough month. While a month with both monthly and yearly growth seems like a good thing, the numbers mask a continued contraction of momentum for online poker in New Jersey.

July 2016 benefitted from both an extra weekend and an aggressive promotional environment as competitors looked to wrestle market share back from PokerStars. At this point, it looks like PokerStars is running out of gas, and without that fuel the rest of the market will reverse course shortly.

Casino was just about the opposite story, with solid month-to-month gains, especially considering the bar set by June (although such gains are going to be harder and harder to come by in the fall).

The yearly comp continues to impress, with a 44% leap (although the extra weekend and a comp somewhat depressed by a jackpot at Caesars in July 2015 are inflating that number a bit).

Overall, New Jersey continues to make an argument as a market with meaningful upside remaining. The question becomes how much of that upside can be unlocked by things within the control of casinos (new games, better integration with land-based properties) and how much is out of their control (payment processors, systemic marketing inefficiencies).

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) had a fairly flat month, with poker finding a bottom and casino looking solid (but not displaying the year-to-year gains of some competitors). The company lost the casino lead to Golden Nugget but maintained the overall revenue lead.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) outpaced the market for both poker and casino revenue and chipped away at PokerStars’ market share lead in poker.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) built on its record-setting performance from June by pushing the closest any casino has come yet to the $4mm mark in casino revenue.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ) saw a nice rebound on the casino side, but was the only decrease among poker operators in the state.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) zigged while the rest zagged on casino, notching a small revenue loss but still coming in well above $3mm.

Detailed numbers by operator / product (unadjusted for extra day):

july-unadjusted

And here’s the comp for revenue from licensed NJ gambling websites when you normalize the month-to-month difference by assuming 30 days in May instead of 31:

july-normalized

NJ online gambling revenue: historical data

View tables of month-by-month and total revenue at PlayNJ.com (along with a list of NJ online casino reviews).

You can also view the official filings at the NJ DGE site here, but they lack the breakdown published on PNJ.

June 2016 highlights

  • That was quick. The brief NJ online poker boom sparked by PokerStars’ return to the market all but vaporized in June, with revenues crashing some 20% month-to-month.
  • Golden Nugget breaks the ceiling. Best I can tell, in June Golden Nugget became the first NJ online gambling site ever to pass $3.5mm in monthly casino revenue.
  • Borgata Poker continues to bear the brunt. While online casino revenue remains healthy at the land-based leader, poker revenues have now dropped every month in 2016, leaving Borgata Poker with a very slim margin for error as the summer slump deepens.

Topline numbers

Notes: June had one less day than May. The numbers below are not adjusted.

Total / month-over-month change (unadjusted) / year-over-year change (unadjusted). A table with adjusted numbers is provided later in the article.

  • Total: $16.4mm / -1% / +40%
  • Casino: $14.4mm / +3% / +47%
  • Poker: $1.97mm / – 23% / + 7%

Poker was certainly expected to dip month-to-month thanks to seasonal impacts, but no one was calling for a 20%+ drop (2015 saw a ~5% dip May to June). The hardest hit in absolute terms: PokerStars, where revenue cratered some 30%. The hardest hit in relative terms: Borgata, which shed another ~17% in its sixth straight month of sequential revenue declines.

The year-over-year gains of 7% are only positive absent context. PokerStars was not active in the NJ market in June 2015.

Casino had a much happier tale to tell, gaining nearly 50% from 2015 and notching a slight uptick from May, bucking the expected seasonal trend. Trop and Golden Nugget drove the casino gains, with all other brands flat or down.

Overall, the story in June reads much like the story in New Jersey prior to the arrival of PokerStars: Casino feels quite strong and displays additional room for growth, while poker is anemic at best.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) continued to slide on the the poker side, but held the line in casino and remained the top-grossing online gambling operation in New Jersey.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) was the smallest loser on the poker side and was essentially flat on the casino side.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) was the clear winner of the month, posting the only double-digit gain on the casino revenue side and becoming the first brand to surpass the $3.5mm mark in monthly casino revenue.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ) had a decent month on the casino side but saw its overall numbers cratered by a massive drop in poker activity.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) mirrored Golden Nugget with solid casino growth both month-to-month and year-to-year.

Detailed numbers by operator / product (unadjusted for extra day):

nj-online-june

And here’s the comp when you normalize the month-to-month difference by assuming 30 days in May instead of 31:

NJ online gambling rev normalized

May 2016 highlights

  • The streak is weak: After several consecutive record-setting months, May marked a (predictable) reversal, with slight losses for poker, casino, and overall revenue.
  • PokerStars NJ comes back to earth: After a strong launch and impressive April, PokerStars appears to have hit a wall in May on both the poker and casino fronts.
  • Borgata poker hit harder: While far less dramatic of a loss than April’s (30%), Borgata continued to lose ground on poker, while Caesars stayed stable in May.

Topline numbers

Notes: May had one more day than April. The numbers below are not adjusted.

Total / month-over-month change (unadjusted) / year-over-year change (unadjusted). A table with adjusted numbers is provided later in the article.

  • Total: $16.5mm / -2.5% / + 33%
  • Casino: $13.9mm / -2.9% / +33%
  • Poker: $2.6mm / -.66% / +33%

Poker was off a bit from April as the hype from the PokerStars launch died down and seasonality kicked in. Balancing that: the lead-up to the World Series of Poker, which certainly helped to generate some unique activity at WSOP / 888.

Casino took a stiffer hit than poker, but we can likely look to PokerStars for at least a partial explanation here as well; Resorts was far and away the largest loser on the casino revenue front, and one possible explanation for their outlier performance is that casino cross-sell at PokerStars is fading (our analysis suggested a higher level of cross-sell at PokerStars in April than was expected by most in the industry).

Overall, the dip from April’s excellent performance was predictable; the weather is improving and PokerStars’ launch generated interest and activity that was always going to be impossible to sustain.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) saw a small dip in poker and casino, but retained the top slots for casino and overall revenue.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) put the brakes on the poker losses from April and managed to account for two of the three month-to-month revenue gains in the market (poker and casino).
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) took a single-digit dip on the casino front, but was largely in line with the broader drop-off.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ) saw poker flatten in the second full month following PokerStars’ launch. But the casino side is where the bulk of the overall market’s drop manifested, with Resorts losing some $450k from April to May.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) was the only casino besides Caesars to book a win in May, inching up a few percentage points from the previous month.

Detailed numbers by operator / product (unadjusted):

Map comp

And here’s the comp when you normalize the month-to-month difference by assuming 31 days in April instead of 30:

may-comp-adjusted

April 2016 highlights

  • PokerStars is enjoying success not only on the poker front – the operator accounted for almost half of NJ online poker site revenue – but apparently on the casino front as well. Partner Resorts turned in a record casino revenue month that appears driven at least in part by casino cross-sell to PokerStars customers.
  • Have individual operators found an unbreakable ceiling? Despite a record-setting month for casino revenue, we’ve yet to see any one IGP holder break through the $3.5mm threshold, suggesting that a certainty point of maturity may be approaching for the market at large.
  • Over $50mm in taxes have been paid by NJ’s regulated online gambling operator since launch, with April tipping over the threshold to a total of $51,358,216.

Topline numbers

Notes: April had one less day than March. The numbers below are not adjusted.

Total / month-over-month change (unadjusted) / year-over-year change (unadjusted)

  • Total: $17mm / +14% / +33%
  • Casino: $14.3mm / +10% / +34%
  • Poker: $2.6mm / +39% / +30%

Poker benefited tremendously from the launch of PokerStars NJ, although competing operators Borgata and Caesars might not quite see it that way. PokerStars accounted for 45% of the total online poker revenue during the site’s first full month of operation. But even with that boost, the total of $2.6mm for poker still sits well below the highwater mark of $3.4mm set in January 2014.

Casino is a more complex story than the topline number indicates, as the impressive gains were not distributed equally among all operators. Borgata saw minor gains, and Tropicana booked a mild loss. Golden Nugget and Caesars notched single-digit growth. The engine of April: Resorts, which rocketed up 80%.

Overall, it’s hard to find fault with a $17mm month that has 30%+ y/y growth across both poker and casino. But it’s difficult to digest what the month actually means for the future of the market, as the noise on the channel from Stars’ successful entry has basically overwhelmed the signal.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) shaved off almost 30% from poker revenues month-to-month and maintained on the casino front. Despite the dip, Borgata retained the overall revenue crown.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) dropped 20% on poker but picked up almost 7% on casino to wash the loss and end up roughly flat overall April to May.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) continued to head north of $3mm with an 8% bump, and nabbed the title for highest casino revenue in April along the way.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ) absolutely killed it on both casino and poker, finishing the month within shouting distance of Borgata for the overall revenue lead.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) absorbed a minor dip but still ended the month above the $3mm threshold.

Detailed numbers by operator / product:

April 2016 Rev

And here’s the comp when you normalize the month-to-month difference by assuming 30 days in March instead of 31:

April normalized

March 2016 highlights

  • PokerStars turned in a nice bit of revenue despite full operation for less than two weeks, coming in just under $600k. By comparison, market leader Borgata did $1.03mm for the month.
  • While March set a new revenue record, the month was actually a slight downturn from February if you account for the difference in days.
  • Trop, Borgata, and Golden Nugget all came in above $3mm in casino revenue for the month. It has proven tough for any online casino to push toward the $3.5mm mark.

Topline numbers

Notes: March had two more days than Feb. The numbers below are not adjusted.

Total / month-over-month change (unadjusted) / year-over-year change (unadjusted)

  • Total: $15.5mm / +6% / +18%
  • Casino: $13mm / +4% / +19%
  • Poker: $2.46mm / +23% / +10%

Poker notched a nice bump, but that’s entirely thanks to the late-April entrance of PokerStars, who chipped in almost $600k in less than two weeks of operation. Take PokerStars out and the picture gets grim – off 6% month to month and 16% year to year.

It will take a month or two before we get a better sense of the additive impact of PokerStars on the online poker side.

Casino witnessed the first weakness we’ve seen in several months. While technically a gain over February, revenue was actually off when you normalize for the missing two days (scroll down for chart). Channel checks suggested abnormally low hold. Year over year continues to impress, but maintaining that level of growth is going to get tougher as we enter the summer.

Overall, the entrance of PokerStars is clouding comparisons, but the market seems to be leveling off to a degree. The impending summer months will likely see the state’s impressive streak of record-breaking months officially snapped in May, if not June.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) took a big hit on the poker side and a smaller one on the casino side, but still handily led the market and both poker and casino individually.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) took a similar hit on the poker side, but notched a gain on casino – one of only two operators to manage the feat in March.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) was the big winner thanks in part to any easy comp, moving back up the $3mm mark
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ) tumbled on casino but gained ground overall thanks to the launch of PokerStars.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) had another solid month, cruising back past the $3mm mark, just a few thousand short of the top casino spot.

NJ March revenue

And here’s the comp when you normalize the month-to-month difference by assuming 31 days in February instead of 29:

NJ March revenue online casino normalized

February 2016 highlights

  • Oh, another record? Despite the two-day handicap, February saw another record set for NJ online gambling revenue, coming in at $120k over January’s total.
  • One of these casinos is not the same. The month-over-month numbers (unadjusted) are a sea of red, until you get to Golden Nugget, who shot up almost 25% from January – partially the result of an easy comp / hold correction from January, but also a reflection of the brand’s continued display of outsized online strength.
  • Three over $3mm. February marked the first month that I’m aware of where three different operators (Borgata, Golden Nugget, Tropicana) all broke the $3mm revenue mark for casino.

Topline numbers

Notes: February has two fewer days than January. 

Total / month-over-month change / year-over-year change

  • Total: $14.75mm / 1% / 41.7%
  • Casino: $12.75mm / 2.2% / 52.6%
  • Poker: $1.99mm / -7.3% / -2.5%

Poker saw a material (but expected) drop on the monthly front. The yearly picture was slightly more encouraging, with a 2.5% drop that suggests a stabilizing market. The launch of PokerStarsNJ.com in late March will likely result in a short-term reversal and drive growth, but I believe the ceiling for intrastate online poker in New Jersey has been firmly set below $3mm.

The only real question is: where’s the floor? Most I talk to put it no lower than $1.5mm, with the majority arguing that $2mm is more or less the sustainable equilibrium for the market as-is.

Casino had a mixed month. More operators saw losses than saw gains. But on balance, the segment grew materially month-over-month and impressively year-over-year.

I expect the yearly growth rates will fall down to earth as the comps start to get tougher come summer, but even if we’re only seeing incremental growth through the second half, we’re still talking about a vertical that will be on pace to do over $150mm in 2016.

Not a bad business given the size of the player population and the relative immaturity of the product.

Overall, the storyline of the last year continued to flow through February: casino is strong, poker is weak, and operators are successfully leveraging the lessons of the last two years to find growth in an environment that is challenging on a number of levels beyond their control.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) took losses on the poker and casino fronts (although casino was positive if you adjust for the missing two days from January to February), but remained the leading brand in terms of poker, casino, and overall revenue.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) continues to lag behind their peers on the casino front, but did manage to close the revenue gap with Borgata on the poker front despite suffering losses there as well.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) roared back from a tough month that I’d assume was partially a result of bad hold and came within a few thousand dollars of unseating Borgata on the casino front.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun) saw its streak of consecutive absolute growth snapped but still turned in a respectable month. If you adjust for the two missing days, Resorts was effectively flat.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) was the only operator besides Golden Nugget to post an increase in February.

NJ online Gambling Revenue

And here’s the comp when you normalize the month-to-month difference by assuming 31 days in February instead of 29:

NJ Feb Revenue normalized

January 2016 highlights

  • Another record set. With $14.6mm in total revenue, NJ’s regulated online gambling site’s eclipsed last month’s revenue record by over half a million dollars.
  • Borgata claims all crowns. The operator – whose licensees cover Borgata, Party, and Pala – topped the revenue charts for poker, casino, and overall.
  • Resorts keeps growing. Resorts registered double-digit gains, continuing its neearly-unbroken string of consecutive growth since launch in February.
  • Good news / bad news for poker. While January did represent a significant jump month over month, poker continues to struggle when viewed year over year – despite the fact that the comps are softening.

Topline numbers

Notes: January and December have the same amount of days. 

Total / month-over-month change / year-over-year change

  • Total: $14.6mm / +4.17% / +26.4%
  • Casino: $12.4mm / +3.47% / +34.65%
  • Poker: $2.15mm / +8.42% / -6.44%

Poker looks good when compared to December, but we’d expect a seasonal uptick in any case. The year over year dip is concerning, as the 2015 comps are pretty soft already. And with user account creation in New Jersey enjoying a serious uptick in late 2015, it’s clear that poker isn’t enjoying the benefits of broad market expansion (or it is, but is bleeding players at a rate faster than can be replaced by growth).

Casino has a similar break between yearly and monthly comps. Obviously the monthly comp looks great, and keeps with the trend for 25% plus growth we saw through much of 2015. But the monthly comp tells a story of a product that may be hitting a ceiling – again, especially when you consider that there was a surge of new accounts created in the back half of 2015.

Overall, it’s hard to read the results as anything other than encouraging for NJ’s regulated online casinos. While $20mm may be out of range – at least under current conditions – a $200mm annual total is starting to look more and more plausible. That would result in $30mm in tax revenue – not at all a bad take for a mid-sized state.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) hit the trifecta, winning casino, poker, and overall. The company registered the most impressive gains of any IGP holder both month to month and year over year. .
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) had a decent month, but is almost starting to fall into a second tier of operators on the casino side. The company missed out on much of the gains enjoyed by other operators, and has been simply unable to close the poker gap with Borgata.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) was the only casino to see a drop in revenue. It’s unclear if that’s the result of a jackpot paid, unfavorable hold, a dip in activity, or some combination of all three.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun) picked up 11% to move just shy of $1.5mm. If their growth continues (the brand is currently engaged in a major marketing push), we might see the operator’s revenue rival Caesars by summer.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) notched a small win but remained below the $3mm mark – a threshold that operators other than the BOrgata have been hard-pressed to break.

December 2015 highlights

  • New Jersey’s regulated online gambling sites followed up November’s record-setting performance with a new all-time revenue high, surpassing the $14mm mark for the first time since launch.
  • As was the case throughout 2015, casino revenue led the growth, although poker revenue in December was stable.
  • The battle for casino revenue supremacy continues to be a 3-way dead heat between Borgata / Party, Tropicana / Virgin, and Golden NUgget / Betfair.
  • NJ’s regulated online gambling sites paid over $2mm in taxes in December, bringing the total tax paid in 2015 to $22.3mm.

Topline numbers

Notes: December has one more day than November. 

Total / month-over-month change / year-over-year change

  • Total: $14mm / +6.2% / +30.8%
  • Casino: $12mm / +7% / +38.9%
  • Poker: $1.98mm / +1.3% / -3.65%

Poker was essentially flat month over month and down slightly year-over-year. That’s discouraging both because it marks the return of year-over-year declines and also because it suggests (but does not guarantee) New Jersey might not enjoy much of a seasonal uptick on the poker front.

Casino looked strong as the success of Resorts and the impact of increased television marketing by many major operators continue to fuel strong month-over-month and year-over-year gains. It is worth noting that the top three operators do appear to have found at least a temporary revenue ceiling around the $3mm mark.

Overall, the regulated online gambling market in New Jerseycontinues to display sustained momentum on the casino side. The entrance of PokerStars near the end of the quarter may spark a rally on the poker front, but it seems unlikely that we’ll ever see poker above $3mm monthly without interstate pooling. The story of NJ regulated online gambling revenue in 2015 was casino, and that story won’t look any different in 2016.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) shaved off 5% on the casino front and was effectively flat on poker. The company maintained its overall revenue lead but lost the casino crown to Golden Nugget by a nose.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) rallied after a dismal November, notching a 14% jump overall propelled primarily by casino gains.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) shot back into the casino lead on the back of a 30% improvement on November’s revenue.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun) held the line above $1mm and then some, ticking up over 5% to $1.28mm.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) was one of only two losers on the casino side in December, dropping around the same amount at Borgata

November 2015 highlights

  • New Jersey’s regulated online gambling market posted its highest revenue total to-date in November ($13.22mm), edging out the previous record set in March 2015 ($13.16mm) .
  • That performance was driven by a record-setting month for casino revenue ($11.26mm).
  • Resorts pushed past the $1mm mark for the first time in November.
  • Poker moved into positive territory both month-over-month and year-over-year for the first time in recent memory.

Topline numbers

Notes: November has one fewer day than October. In November 2014, Caesars paid out a $1.3mm online slots jackpot. The ( ) number represents the YoY change if the jackpot had not been paid.

Total / month-over-month change / year-over-year change

  • Total: $13.2mm / +2.7% / +51.3% (+32.2%)
  • Casino: $11.2mm / +2.8% / +64.1% (+39%)
  • Poker: $1.95mm / +2.3% / +4.3%

Poker probably enjoyed some sustained boost from the World Series of Poker and what should be a natural uptick from seasonal factors. The next few months will be critical for poker – if the market fails to swing up along the standard seasonal trajectory, it could suggest a far shakier foundation than current assumed.

Casino appears to be settling into a new normal in terms of revenue, although grow month-to-month was still measurable. The product trended up as winter set in last year, and it will be interesting to see if that trajectory is replicated this year, or if last winter’s growth was more a function of one-time organic penetration gains.

Overall, November suggests signs of stability for New Jersey’s near-term revenue picture, although improvements on the payment processing front could unlock additional demand.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) surged back to the front of the casino pack with a $3mm month (+24%) while notching slight gains in poker. The company remains the overall revenue leader in NJ.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) turned in a similar performance on the poker front with a small gain, but gave up nearly 10% on the casino front.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) suffered the largest absolute and percentage loss, shaving off half a million (-19%) from October for a $2.2mm total.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun) joined the million-dollar club in November on the back of a +35% gain on casino revenue in October.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) was the quietest property among NJ online casinos, booking a 5% gain over last month to end up just shy of $3mm in revenue, good for second place to Borgata in the casino race.

October 2015 highlights

For the first month in recent memory, growth in both poker and casino revenue powered New Jersey to a strong gain in October over September’s totals. The annual picture is slightly less positive, but still a big win overall for regulated online gambling in the Garden State.

Topline numbers

Total / month-over-month change / year-over-year change

  • Total: $12.8mm / +6.9% / +21.9%
  • Casino: $10.9mm / +6.7% / + 32%
  • Poker: $1.91mm / +8% / -15%

Month over month

October has one more day than September.

Poker needed a winning month, and October delivered. But it was a win in relative terms only, and it may have been driven by a) a successful execution of the Garden State Super Series, and b) increased interest in and coverage of poker in the run up to the conclusion of the World Series of Poker. Both are temporary factors.

Casino almost broke the $11mm mark and continues to show room for short-term growth despite nearly two full years in the market and over a dozen unique brands in operation.

Overall there’s a lot to like in October’s numbers. But the WSOP may be distorting things a bit on the poker side, and the relatively modest month-to-month gains on casino may suggest that the product is starting to come into view of a saturation point.

Year-over-year

Poker suffered a nasty hit here, to little surprise. The hope for the market at this point is that the revenue has found a floor, and that further consolidation, the entrance of PokerStars, and liquidity sharing agreements with other jurisdictions will arrive in time if the current floor proves temporary.

Casino continues to prove that it’s a different product this year than it was last. Strong continued growth on the accounts created side suggests that these revenue levels are more of a new normal and less of a temporary surge over 2014.

Overall, it’s hard not to feel positive about a 22% gain in New Jersey as we move into the third full year of operation. Consumers are showing that better content, better promotions, and better awareness are all to be rewarded with additional play. If casinos continue to listen, 2016 holds similar promise.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) rocketed up some 14% in poker thanks to the GSSS. Casino was down a hair. The company led the overall market with $3.5mm in combined revenue.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) went the other way, jumping up in casino 12% but notching only a small boost in poker.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) added on 12% to their casino total from September.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun) finally saw its growth streak snapped, falling back about 5% from September, but still recording a respectable $900k for the relatively new (March 2015) entrant.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) held on to the top casino spot thanks to a 9% jump over September for a total of $2.85mm.

September 2015 highlights

New Jersey online gambling revenue from August to September looks basically flat from afar, but that view doesn’t tell the whole story.

Once again, we’re looking at a tale of two products, with casino holding steady and poker dragging down the big number.

Topline numbers

  • Total: $12mm
  • Casino: $10.2mm
  • Poker: $1.77mm

Year-over-year

Poker dropped 21% from September 2014 to 2015, continuing a general trend in 2015 of double-digit YoY drops for the product.

Casino went the opposite way with a gain of nearly 24% on revenue from September 2014.

Overall, NJ’s regulated online gambling sites generated 14% more in September 2015 than the same period in the year prior.

Month over month

August has one more day than September.

Poker shaved off nearly 11% from August’s levels, dampening hopes from that the market had found a floor.

Casino was effectively flat, enjoying slight growth when adjusted for the extra day in August.

Overall the total revenue for September was functionally equivalent to August when adjusted for the extra day.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) took substantial hits on both the casino and poker fronts, and posted the largest overall month-to-month decline. The company continues to generate the most total revenue of any operator in NJ.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) saw a sharp dip in poker but held the line in casino.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) was one of the few bright spots in the report, posting a 7.5% bump from August.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun) continues to enjoy steady growth and almost cracked the $1mm mark in Sept with $944k, a near 30% jump from August.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) shaved off 6% but held on to the casino revenue crown with $2.62mm.

August 2015 highlights

In a reversal of the trend from previous months, NJ online poker managed a small gain in August, while casino dipped slightly. Borgata continued the lead the way in poker and overall, but Tropicana wrestled the casino revenue crown away.

Topline numbers

  • Total: $12.2mm
  • Casino: $10.23mm
  • Poker: $1.98mm

Year-over-year

Overall, August 2015 notched a 16% jump over August 2014. As has been the case for all of 2015, casino drove all of the gains, while poker represented a net drag.

Take poker out of the picture (down 12% YoY) and you’re looking at a raw gain of 23% ($10.2mm vs $8.2mm). That’s short of the torrid gains we’ve seen in past months, but the comps are starting to toughen up a bit.

Month over month

It’s safe to say that poker has found a floor – at least for now. We’ve got two months of consecutive gains during a period that should be tougher than average for poker (although the WSOP acts as a bulwark against seasonal decline).

As for casino, we saw a slight dip of 4% July to August. If we see a similar decline in September and October, we may have found a saturation point for online casino. I suspect it’s more of a one-off than the start of a trend.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) kept its overall lead and saw 5% growth in poker. But casino revenue dropped 7% and Tropicana stole the top spot away as a result.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) matched Borgata with a 5% uptick in poker. Casino outperformed the market with a 2.5% gain.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) bore the brunt of the month’s decline, dropping some 17% from July.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts) jumped up 31% as the impact of the Mohegan launch began to manifest.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) was basically flat, but that was good enough to take the top casino spot away from Borgata by a margin of roughly $163k.

July 2015 highlights

The summer slump seems to have found a bottom as both casino and poker registered gains month-over-month (unadjusted for the extra day in July).

That trend, combined with impressive year-over-year gains, implies that a profitable fall awaits NJ’s regulated online casinos.

Topline numbers

  • Total: $12.5mm.
  • Casino: $10.6mm
  • Poker: $1.88mm.

Year-over-year

Overall, July 2015 ($12.5mm) outperformed July 2014 ($10mm) by an impressive 24%.

Remove poker, which dropped 12% YoY ($1.88mm vs $2.14mm), from the equation and the picture is far rosier, with casino notching a 34% gain ($10.6mm vs $7.9mm).

Month over month

July reversed the multi-month trend of consecutive dips driven largely by seasonality and the continued deterioration of poker.

Overall, the industry notched a 7.4% gain over June. Once again, casino led the way with 8.27% growth, while poker continues to hint at a floor with 2.73% growth from June (although the WSOP may have lent some temporary support that won’t be present in August).

July has one more day than June. The average daily revenue for July was $404,257 vs $388,956 for June – a +3.9% gap.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) maintained its revenue lead for both poker and casino while also notching market-leading growth rates (9% casino, 5% poker).
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) was essentially flat from June and slipped even further behind competitors on the casino side. The company registered the only total year-over-year loss in the industry.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) powered up 8% from June (casino only) and came in 3rd for casino in a photo finish with Trop and Borgata.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts) crossed the $500k mark (+39% MoM) and continues to carve out a significant slice of the market despite a late entrance..
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) mirrored Golden Nugget with a 7.1% gain from June and a casino total a mere $88k behind leading operator Borgata.

June 2015 highlights

While the advance of summer caused a predictable month-to-month dip, the bigger picture continues to be a bright one for regulated online gambling in New Jersey, as growth year-to-year suggests plenty of upside in the market.

Topline numbers

  • Total: $11.6mm.
  • Casino: $9.82mm
  • Poker: $1.83mm.

Year-over-year

In terms of the overall market, June 2015 turned in a 22.7% increase over totals for June 2014 ($11.6mm vs $9.5mm).

Casino was (again) the sole driver of growth, with revenue numbers from online casino play shooting up nearly 32% year-over-year. Poker dipped about 10% from June 2015.

Month over month

June dipped about 6% from May’s totals ($11.6mm vs $12.4mm). May had one extra day; daily average revenue was $38,660 for June and $40,000 for May.

Poker dropped by 4.8% month over month, while casino was off a bit under 7%.

The mild decline is unsurprising as we move deeper into the summer months where online play tends to wane. We saw similar trends from May to June in 2014.

The good news for poker is that the market seems to have found a firm bottom, at least for the time being.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) took it on the chin in June, dropping 13% MoM in poker, 9% in casino and 10.4% overall. But Borgata did maintain the market lead for poker revenue, casino revenue and overall revenue.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) rebounded after a tough May, picking up 6% in poker, dropped 2% in casino and more or less holding steady overall to outperform the market.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) saw casino revenue plummet 17% MoM and slipped into third place in a hyper-tight race for the top casino revenue spot.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts) shot up 23% to a total of $400k in casino revenue. NJ’s newest operator continues to enjoy solid growth in a crowded market.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) was the only top-tier online casino property to show growth in a tough month, notching a 2.4% bump in casino revenue in June.

May 2015 highlights

The story for NJ online gambling has been a consistent one for the last few months: strong- year-over-year growth driven exclusively by casino.

In May, that story continued as the total market reflected healthy gains over 2014 despite a continually declining poker product.

Topline numbers

  • Total: $12.5mm.
  • Casino: $10.5mm
  • Poker: $1.92mm.

Year-over-year

In terms of the overall market, May 2015 turned in a 19.1% increase over totals for May 2014.

Casino drove all of that gain, with revenue of $10.5mm versus $8.19mm, a jump of 28.7%. Poker saw revenues dip 15.2%, dropping from $2.27mm last year to $1.93mm.

Month over month

May dipped slightly from April’s totals ($12.7mm vs $12.5mm), a difference that widens when you factor in the extra day in May.

Poker took a larger proportional hit than casino.

The mild decline is unsurprising (in fact, many expected poker to see a steep drop) given the improving weather and start of the vacation season in New Jersey.

Casino experienced a similar decline from April to May in 2014, as did poker.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) declined in line with the market but maintained the overall revenue lead at $3.96m.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) rallied after a tough April, adding about $200k to casino, which offset a $27k dip in poker. The casino gains are more impressive considering that all other operators (save Resorts) saw casino revenues dip.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) held on to the casino revenue crown but saw its lead shrink thanks to a near 10% drop in revenue from April.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts) saw a 50% gain over April, posting $324k in revenue (casino only). The property appears well on its way to generating healthy revenues just three months after launch – an encouraging sign for the market.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) appears to have pulled back on their promotional spend, and revenues have declined in response. May’s $25mm in casino revenue represented the second consecutive month of double-digit decline for the casino-only operator.

April 2015 highlights

While falling somewhat short of the record revenues produced by NJ’s online casinos in March, April still reflected strong year-over-year growth. The story for April continued the trend of growth in casino revenue compensating for continuing declines in online poker.

Topline numbers

  • Total: $12.6mm.
  • Casino: $10.7mm
  • Poker: $1.98mm.

Year-over-year

On the casino side, the story is incredibly positive, with $10.7mm in April 2015 vs $8.8 in April 2014. The poker side reflects a brutal year-over-year decline from $2.59mm to $1.98mm, and that’s from a point where most agree that the market had already peaked and started to decline.

Overall, April 2015 tallied $12.69mm vs $11.42 a year prior, a strong gain given the drag from poker.

Month over month

March 2015 was the first month that the total market topped $13mm, making for a tough comp.

Casino was up a hair when you account for the extra day in March – $10.7mm in April vs $10.9mm in March. Poker slid from $2.2mm to $1.98mm.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) saw the slightest of declines (with poker taking a bit more of a hit than casino) but still easily took the overall revenue title at $3.99m.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) had one of the tougher months, posting measurable declines for both poker and casino revenue and falling behind both Trop and Golden Nugget in terms of overall revenue.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) continued its impressive run, taking over the casino revenue crown with a 10%+ gain from April and jumping into second in terms of overall revenue despite not having a poker product.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts) posted reasonable numbers for its second full month of operation, moving from $154k to $212k in casino revenue.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) lost a bit of their incredible momentum, dropping nearly 10% from March to April, but still managing to generate more total revenue than Caesars despite not offering a poker product.

March 2015 highlights

A strong month for online casinos in NJ – with no massive jackpots dinging the bottom line – covered another flat month for poker as New Jersey’s total online gambling revenue topped $13mm for the first time in the market’s history.

Topline numbers

  • Total: $13.16mm
  • Casino: $10.9mm
  • Poker:  $2.22mm

Year-over-year

Overall a nice gain from March 2014’s tally of $11.87mm.

But digging in shows again that New Jersey’s online gambling market has two distinct stories – one of growth for casino ($10.9mm vs $8.66mm YoY) and decline for poker ($2.22 vs $3.21).

Month over month

Keeping in mind that March is 3 days longer than February, poker was basically flat MoM ($2.05mm in February) and casino shot up from $8.3mm in February to $10.9mm.

But the growth is less impressive than it looks, as February not only lacked three days that march enjoyed, but also saw Betfair NJ pay a record $1.5mm jackpot.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) toed the $3mm mark for casino revenue and broke the $4mm mark in terms of overall revenue – something that hasn’t been accomplished in New Jersey for nearly a year.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) saw a slight drop in poker offset by gains on the casino side and managed a small net gain for the month.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) turned in a performance that would have been historic – $2.96mm in revenue just from casino – were it not for Trop / Virgin doing them one better and actually passing the threshold.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts) had their first full month of operation in March and notched a respectable $154k – a number sure to grow as their marketing and operations continue to ramp up.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) has to be feeling good about the month, as they became the first casino to hit $3mm in revenue from casino gaming alone.

February 2015 highlights

Poker continues to display signs of severe structural decline, but the casino side of New Jersey’s regulated online product appears to be hitting its stride.

Topline numbers

  • Total: $10.4mm
  • Casino: $8.35mm
  • Poker: $2.05mm

Year-over-year

Total up from $10.3mm in Feb 2014 – despite a record $1.5mm jackpot hitting at Betfair in the month. Casino was $8.35mm vs $7.19mm in February 2014 while poker was $2.04mm vs $3.1mm.

Month over month

Total down from $11.5mm in January 2015, but up month-over-month if you account for jackpot (and shorter month). Casino was $8.35mm vs $9.2mm in January, while poker dipped to $2.05mm in February down from January’s $2.3mm.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty) was up a tick from January to February when you account for the shorter month. Poker dipped a bit but was offset by gains on the casino side.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrahs, WSOP) dropped off a bit, with poker looking mostly flat and casino edging down a few percentage points.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair) put in an impressive month considering the jackpot at Betfair. Work it into the month-over-month and the pair saw a $500k bump; leave it in and the pair dropped from $2.46 in January to $1.46 in February.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts) is new to the list, having soft-launched in late February. The online arm managed $50k in its first few days of operation, a result that is unlikely to be indicative of future performance in any meaningful way.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) is arguably the second-biggest winner of the month, jumping from $2.56mm in January to $2.62mm in February despite the loss of three days.
No Summer Slump For NJ Online Casinos As New Revenue Records Abound
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Chris Grove
- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.