The headline for that comparison – “New Jersey Outperforms Delaware” – won’t come as a surprise to many.
But while the conclusion itself may be obvious, there are some insights along the path to the conclusion that may nonetheless prove useful.
All data utilized in this article is through the end of February 2014.
Both New Jersey and Delaware offer poker and casino-style games, including table games and slots.
Delaware’s online casino and poker offerings are powered by a single provider (888 and Scientific Games) while New Jersey’s market is made up of a wide variety of providers.
One of the starkest differences between New Jersey and Delaware is the makeup of online gambling revenue in each state:
What makes the difference all the more surprising is that Delaware’s single online poker room (all of the three live sites in Delaware feed into a shared player pool for poker) is tiny, averaging only a handful of players a day.
In short, it’s not a very attractive product from a consumer standpoint.
The takeaway is that casino likely has a good deal of unrealized potential in Delaware.
That potential is starting to be realized – note the dramatic uptick in casino turnover for Delaware in February, which was also the first month that casino revenue outpaced poker – but Delaware still has a bit to go before it hits NJ’s ratio.
Obviously absolute comparisons between New Jersey and Delaware aren’t terribly useful, as New Jersey is some ten times larger than Delaware. But a number of adjusted comparisons show that Delaware is underperforming when measured by the bar set by its neighbor to the northeast.
There’s the obvious one: NJ’s overall revenue is far more than 10 times the size of Delaware’s – in fact, it’s roughly 50x. A few other metrics help to round out the picture.
This chart shows the revenue per capita for online gambling to date in New Jersey and Delaware:
The numbers were generated by taking the total revenue for each state and dividing by the number of days from launch through February 28th. That number was then divided by the total gambling-age population in each state.
There are a number of reasons why New Jersey’s number inherently should be higher than Delaware’s:
Another way to compare performance is to look at how much revenue is generated on average per created account in each state. Delaware still lags behind NJ here, but by a far smaller gap than any other metric:
These numbers result from dividing total revenue by total number of accounts.
But again, the numbers don’t quite tell the whole story:
There are a few core similarities between Delaware and New Jersey: games offered, market age and platform maturity come to mind.
There are quite a few more points of divergence, including:
These factors are the primary (but not only) reasons why Delaware lags so badly behind New Jersey when it comes to online gambling revenue.
Many are beyond Delaware’s control. But the ones that are not should be of great interest to Delaware regulators, operators and anyone else with a stake in improving the performance of Delaware’s market for legal online gambling.