Golden Nugget Still Leads NJ Online Gambling Operators; Tropicana Up Again

NJ Online Casinos Post Second Best Month On Record, Surpass $20 Million In Revenue Again

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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.

April 2017 highlights

  • Total market surpasses $20 million again. April was the second biggest month in terms of revenue ever, at $20.8 million. That’s just slightly off last month’s pace of $21.7 million. Months of $20 million in revenue across all operators appears to be the new normal.
  • Tropicana making gains. The online casino for the Trop has posted two straight record months, getting to $3.9 million in April. If the momentum continues, Tropicana can move into the upper echelon of operators.
  • What you see is what you get with poker. A year after PokerStars has entered the market, online poker has settled into a new normal, with little hope of meaningful growth on the way, short of future interstate online poker compacts. Online poker generated just under $2 million.
  • Caesars stops the bleeding. The only operator to see big gains month over month was Caesars. It turns around what had been a worrisome slide of a couple of months. While Caesars still lags behind everyone else, revenue was almost back to $3.5 million, up 15 percent from March.

Top line numbers

Notes: There was one more day in March 2017 than April 2017. April had ten weekend days, while March had eight; April of last year also had eight. The comparisons below are adjusted to account for one fewer day in April.

Revenue / month-over-month change (adj) / year-over-year change (adj)

  • Overall: $20.8mm / -1.1% / +22.6%
  • Casino: $18.9mm / -0.1% / +31%
  • Poker: $1.97mm / -9.7% / -24%

Poker had a forgettable April, down 10 percent from March and almost 25 percent year over year. April 2016 was the first full month of PokerStars operation in the New Jersey market, so that helped provide a bounce a year ago. Still, the sizable dip YoY serves to point out that PokerStars hasn’t been able to expand the market for NJ online poker in a meaningful way.

Casino continued its staggering growth year over year. While April was not an improvement over March, that’s not really a bad thing. March, after all, was a record-setting month; April was just the second time revenue eclipsed $20 million, which appears to be the new floor for iGaming.

Overall, the losses from poker were offset by continued solid performance of casino. It’s not clear anything else can possibly serve to expand the market in a big way. But the market has surprised before. And an MGM-branded online casino is on the way.

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Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) Borgata ticked up ever so slightly YoY, about six percent. That was in no thanks to poker, which dropped 20 percent from April of 2016. Borgata’s casino offerings were up 12 percent, but that growth lags behind several other operators.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) As described above, Caesars stopped what had been a slide that bucked the trend of overall growth in casino in recent months. Steady growth is the story (outside of poker). But 18 percent annual growth for casino still falls behind the pace of every online casino other than Borgata.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse) The market leader slipped back after posting a $6-million-plus month in March. But a wide gulf still separates GN from the rest of the pack; its $5.3 million in revenue is still a million more than No. 2 Borgata. YoY growth — 62 percent in April — continues to impress.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ) Resorts saw numbers drop across the board by single-digit percentages for the month. Still, casino increased 30 percent from a year ago. PokerStars still holds onto 40 percent of the poker marketshare, for what that’s worth.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) The Trop is up almost a million dollars from April of 2016, or nearly 30 percent. The hope is the upward trend will put it in the mix to challenge for No. 2 consistently.

Detailed numbers by operator / product (comparisons normalized for extra day in March vs. April):

 April 2017March 2017, normalized to 30 daysDifference month over month (normalized)April 2016Difference year over year
Borgata poker$597,571$629,696-5.10%$745,819-19.88%
Borgata casino$3,615,538$3,583,7750.89%$3,237,32011.68%
Borgata overall$4,213,109$4,213,471-0.01%$3,983,1395.77%
Caesars poker$577,168$670,622-13.94%$664,189-13.10%
Caesars casino$2,939,321$2,379,23423.54%$2,493,68117.87%
Caesars overall$3,516,489$3,049,85615.30%$3,157,87011.36%
Golden Nugget casino$5,377,943$5,977,273-10.03%$3,305,28362.71%
Resorts poker$793,638$879,554-9.77%$1,177,837-32.62%
Resorts casino$2,981,732$3,184,435-6.37%$2,300,27129.63%
Resorts overall$3,775,370$4,063,989-7.10%$3,478,1088.55%
Trop casino$3,939,115$3,739,3775.34%$3,056,34928.88%
Total poker$1,968,377$2,179,872-9.70%$2,587,845-23.94%
Total casino$18,853,649$18,864,094-0.06%$14,392,90430.99%
Total overall$20,822,026$21,043,965-1.05%$16,980,74922.62%
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008.
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