Golden Nugget sets new record for monthly revenue for NJ online casino operators

NJ Online Casino Revenue Hits $600 Million Milestone As Online Poker Posts Solid July

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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.

July 2017 highlights

  • Poker bounces back. June was the worst month in the short history of online poker in New Jersey. But things turned around in July, as online poker generated nearly $300,000 more in revenue than the previous month. The summer is typically a slow time for poker, so the recovery is welcome news instead of continued backslide.
  • $600 million in revenue. The state’s online casinos and poker rooms have how generated $619.4 million in less than four years, since launch in November 2013. Total tax that went to state coffers in that time: $108.1 million. Online gambling continues to prove its worth to casinos and jurisdictions that legalize it.
  • Golden Nugget hits new high. Golden Nugget continues to demonstrate how far everyone else has to go to catch up to No. 1. The online casino eclipsed $6 million for the second time in a single month and set a new record for any single operator in the state. Second place was nearly $2.5 million behind.
  • Another month over $20 million. That figure appears to be the new floor for the entire online casino market, as operators took in $20.6 million. It’s the fifth straight month that online gambling created more than $20 million in revenue. The number was up slightly over June in terms of real dollars, but when accounting for the extra day in July, total revenue actually dropped slightly month over month.

Top line numbers

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

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

  • Overall: $20.6 million / -1.5% / +18.5%
  • Casino: $18.6 million / -2.8% / +21%
  • Poker: $2.0 million / 12% / -0.2%

Poker bounced back from its abysmal June. But year over year, revenue was actually down slightly in July. At that point last year, PokerStars was a full-fledged member of the online poker market. So while the MoM growth is encouraging, it’s still not like the online poker market is growing. But it’s at least possible to see the previous month as an aberration.

Casino grew 21 percent YoY. In a vacuum, that would be impressive growth. Looking at recent trends, it’s a possible signal that the unabated growth the market has seen in the past year and a half could be abating, finally. It’s the lowest YoY expansion since March of 2016, and just the third time growth has been under 30 percent for a month since then.

Overall, New Jersey operators continue to count on online poker and casino for at least $20 million in revenue, pretty much like clockwork. No matter what the breakdown, that’s an impressive place for the market to reside.

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Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala): Borgata held down the No. 2 spot in terms of revenue for the second straight month. However, it was down from its June numbers. And it again bucked the trend of most other casinos by losing ground year over year. We’ll see in August and beyond if the launch of its own branded casino, playMGM, moves the needle.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP): Poker was the lone bright spot, posting gains over June. But the numbers for casino — and all numbers, poker included — were down YoY. The alarming part is that casino gave away a lot of ground month over month (down nearly 18 percent). Meanwhile, it also continued to post declines year over year like Borgata. Caesars, although not far behind No. 2, is still in last place among all license holders in the state.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse): How hot was GN? Even when accounting for July’s extra day, it was up more than half a million dollars month over month. Just a year ago, GN generated $3.7 million. This July represented a remarkable increase of 69 percent.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ): Resorts was right on Borgata’s heels in July for revenue, trailing by only $35,000. PokerStars’ 16 percent MoM gain was welcome news. And online casino was the biggest gainer this side of Golden Nugget, up 28 percent YoY.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin): Trop treaded water MoM, but it managed to post modest gains of almost 11 percent YoY. After hitting a monthly high of $4 million in May, the online casino hasn’t been able to keep up the momentum and establish itself as a potential clear No. 2.

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

 July 2017June 2017, normalized to 31 daysDifference month over month (NORMALIZED)July 2016Difference year over year
Borgata poker$642,289$605,5026.08%$608,0745.63%
Borgata casino$3,143,537$3,411,312-7.85%$3,363,064-6.53%
Borgata overall$3,785,826$4,016,815-5.75%$3,971,138-4.67%
Caesars poker$549,608$485,69513.16%$649,832-15.42%
Caesars casino$2,663,586$3,246,311-17.95%$2,745,834-3.00%
Caesars overall$3,213,194$3,732,005-13.90%$3,395,666-5.37%
Golden Nugget casino$6,249,752$5,762,4108.46%$3,706,99168.59%
Resorts poker$816,227$702,29216.22%$754,1998.22%
Resorts casino$2,934,302$3,098,951-5.31%$2,298,09927.68%
Resorts overall$3,750,529$3,801,243-1.33%$3,052,29822.88%
Trop casino$3,586,241$3,595,373-0.25%$3,242,89110.59%
Total poker$2,008,124$1,793,48811.97%$2,012,105-0.20%
Total casino$18,577,418$19,114,357-2.81%$15,356,87920.97%
Total overall$20,585,542$20,907,846-1.54%$17,368,98418.52%
- 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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