Golden Nugget still leads New Jersey online casinos, Borgata No. 2

NJ Online Casinos Still Generate $20 Million In June, But Poker Has Worst Month Ever

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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.

June 2017 highlights

  • Welp, that was a bad month for poker. There is no way to really sugar coat the news: It was officially the worst month for NJ online poker. The $1.74 million in revenue was the lowest amount for a full month since launch in November 2013. The best comp would have been June of 2015 — before PokerStars entered the market. Revenue that month was $1.84 million.
  • Casino still lifts total to $20 million. That’s the fourth straight month that the entire NJ online casino industry — poker included — has generated $20 million. It barely cleared that mark, with $20.2 million in revenue. And while revenue was just about flat month over month, online casino was still up almost 30 percent year over year.
  • It’s still Golden Nugget, by a lot. No one is touching the dominance of Golden Nugget, which was more than $1.6 million clear of second place in the market. At $5.5 million in revenue, it accounts for about a quarter of the entire market. And don’t forget GN doesn’t feature online poker under its license.
  • Borgata back to second. The race for No. 2 is wide open again, and this month it went to Borgata, with $3.9 million in revenue. That comes just one month after the flagship land-based casino of Atlantic City came in last for online casinos and poker. About $400,000 separates second from last.

Top line numbers

Notes: There was one more day in May 2017 than June 2017. The comparisons below are adjusted to account for one more day in May.

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

  • Overall: $20.2 million / -0.8% / +23.4%
  • Casino: $18.5 million +0.9% / +28.1%
  • Poker: $1.7 million / -15.4% / -11.9%

Poker, as discussed, had an abysmal month. NJSCOOP at PokerStars apparently helped salvage May, but there was nothing to buoy the numbers in June. Online poker might miss some liquidity because of players making the pilgrimage for the World Series of Poker.

Casino was up slightly from May, when normalizing for the extra day in the prior month. But no one is going to write home about less than one-percent growth. Still, YOY growth is encouraging, as it continues to hit about 30 percent every month.

Overall, online casino made up for poker’s underwhelming month. Even with poker pulling in its paltry total, the total online casino figure was still up more than 23 percent from June of last year.

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Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala) Getting too worked up about a few bad months in NJ appears to be a bad idea. Borgata bounced back from one of its worst months — and its first time at the bottom of the online casino heap — to come in second. Borgata saw a 15-percent increase MoM (that was the biggest jump for any operator). But it still falls off the pace of much of the market YoY, with just three percent growth in that category. Borgata’s iPoker operation was just about flat YoY, making it the outlier of the three major networks.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP) Caesars was one of the online gaming licensees clustered in a race for No. 2 behind Golden Nugget, with $3.6 million in total revenue. Caesars’ online casinos continue to perform as expected, gaining about 30 percent YoY. But poker took the biggest hit of any network, down 20 percent. Some of that undoubtedly has to do with WSOP sending players to Las Vegas for the live tournament series.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse) Golden Nugget missed hitting $6 million for a month for the second time, but its $5.5 million in revenue isn’t shabby and far outpaces the competition. Casino was actually down from May, but it still boasts nearly 60 percent growth year over year.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ) PokerStars saw the biggest decline of any licensee in the market, down 27 percent, or more than $360,000. That shouldn’t be a shock after its big tourney series in May. The casino arm, meanwhile, is still doing just fine, keeping pace with GN in terms of YoY growth, up to $3 million, or an increase of about 60 percent.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin) Tropicana came in last place for the first time in some time, at $3.5 million in revenue. While once Trop was poised to fight it out at the top with GN, it has clearly fallen back to the pack. It was the only online casino to post losses MoM, while YoY was pretty much flat (four percent) by comparison.

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

 June (2017)May 2017, normalized to 30 daysDifference month over month (NORMALIZED)June (2016)Difference year over year
Borgata poker$585,970$593,264-1.23%$589,002-0.51%
Borgata casino$3,301,270$2,790,46918.31%$3,190,4973.47%
Borgata overall$3,887,240$3,383,73314.88%$3,779,4992.85%
Caesars poker$470,027$526,386-10.71%$602,103-21.94%
Caesars casino$3,141,591$2,997,4964.81%$2,437,78928.87%
Caesars overall$3,611,618$3,523,8822.49%$3,039,89218.81%
Golden Nugget casino$5,576,526$5,724,355-2.58%$3,533,45757.82%
Resorts poker$679,637$931,852-27.07%$778,070-12.65%
Resorts casino$2,998,985$2,947,3081.75%$1,924,97255.79%
Resorts overall$3,678,622$3,879,161-5.17%$2,703,04236.09%
Trop casino$3,479,393$3,880,399-10.33%$3,346,2873.98%
Total poker$ 1,735,634$2,051,502-15.40%$1,969,175-11.86%
Total casino$18,497,765$18,340,0290.86%$14,433,00228.16%
Total overall$ 20,233,399$20,391,530-0.78%$16,402,17723.36%
- 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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