New Jersey Online Gambling Revenue Flattens in April

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Revenue from regulated online gambling sites in New Jersey during the month of April failed to show growth over March, as a slump in poker activity pulled down overall totals.

You can review a spreadsheet compiled by OPR breaking down revenue by operator for this and previous months here

Total revenue for April was $11,428,737 vs  $11,878,374 in March. Account for the extra day in March and the revenue looks more or less identical.

Different stories for different operators

The month of April ranged from encouraging to disastrous depending on which operator you’re discussing:

  • Borgata (partnered with saw revenue dip from $4.39mm to $4.11mm, with the bulk of the drop coming from poker.
  • Caesars (partnered with 888) experienced a substantial slip from $3.71mm to $3.05mm. The drop was split roughly equally between casino and poker.
  • Golden Nugget shaved about 15% off of their April performance. GN only offers casino online.
  • Tropicana (partnered with Virgin / Gamesys) offered one of the few bright spots in the report, gaining over 10% month to month. Trop is casino only online.
  • Trump Plaza (partnered with Betfair) almost doubled their casino revenue, jumping from $509k to $926k
  • Trump Taj Mahal (partnered with Ultimate Gaming) more or less held steady on the casino front. But poker is in freefall, dropping from $100k in March to just $50k in April.

Other points of note from April revenue numbers

Poker was by and large responsible for the flat performance from March to April. Poker revenue was off nearly 20%, while casino revenue eked out a minor bump.

The upshot of that fact is that casinos who saw growth in April managed that growth primarily at the direct expense of their competitors as opposed to via an expansion of the market.

This marked the first month that the New Jersey market did not experience month-to-month growth. The daily average (per the DGE) was $380,958 for April 2014 vs $383,173 for March 2014.

Account creation also stalled, as noted by GamblingCompliance’s Chris Krafcik:

Looking ahead to May and beyond

Poker is going to continue to exert a drag on revenues across the board. Traffic so far in May suggests that we’ll see a similar drop from April to May as we saw from March to April (in the 20% range).

Likely to be the hardest hit in sheer dollar terms: 888 Poker, which is tanking. That drop may be somewhat offset by (both report revenue under Caesars), which has been bucking the larger trend by growing in May.

But the room facing the greatest existential threat at this point is Ultimate Poker, which simply can’t survive for long under current conditions.

Casino is less predictable. Bringing new content online (such as Caesars is doing via High 5) will help a good deal, as will expanded marketing. Casino isn’t quite as subject to the seasonal whims that impact poker and never really has to worry about a liquidity spiral.

But it’s worth noting that, despite the lack of substantial movement in the overall casino number, there was a lot of movement in terms of individual casino performance. That suggests New Jersey’s online casinos are a bit more adept at stealing traffic from one another than generating new customers at this point.

Check out full NJ online gambling revenue numbers here.

- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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