Solid month comes despite poor performance for NJ online poker
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Online Poker Report

NJ Online Casino Revenue Eclipses $20 Million For Seventh Straight Month

NJ Online Casino Revenues
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.

September 2017 highlights

  • $20 million again, while AC casino revenue grows. It was the seventh straight month that combined online casino and poker revenue eclipsed the $20 million mark. And as online casino continued its year-on-year growth, overall Atlantic City revenue grew $17 million from a year ago. Any argument that online gambling is cannibalizing the land-based business in NJ is disingenuous at best, at this point.
  • It’s not entirely good news for online gambling growth. Total online gambling revenue was down one percent from last month in September, even when accounting for an extra day in August. The YoY growth picture still looks good, but a slow month does make one wonder if a growth slowdown could be on the horizon.
  • Golden Nugget can breathe easy. The online casino market leader look like it could be vulnerable in August, as its commanding lead over other operators had dipped to its lowest point in some time. But the gulf between it and everyone else went back to normal as it managed $5.7 million in revenue. That was about a million and a half clear of No. 2.
  • PokerStars giving up ground? PokerStars has been the undisputed leader on the poker side of things since entering the market last year. But for the first time, its lead over the field was less than $100,000 in terms of revenue since its soft launch in March 2016.

Top line numbers

Revenue / month-over-month change / year-over-year change (normalized for one less day in September)

  • Overall: $20.4 million / -1% / +26.9%
  • Casino: $18.5 million / -0.5% / +33%
  • Poker: $1.9 million / -5.6% / -12.5%

Poker took a tumble, down both from August and last September. It was the second-worst performance for the segment in 2017, and just the third time it was under $2 million this year. Things will likely rebound in October, as PokerStars is hosting the NJ Championship of Online Poker through the middle of the month.

Casino was down slightly from August, but the annual growth continues almost unabated, up 33 percent YoY. Regardless, casino doesn’t show any signs of giving back serious ground.

Overall, the market saw growth despite the dismal performance from poker. The 25 percent growth from September 2016 was just about in line with what we’ve seen on a YoY basis throughout 2017 (a range of 18 to 40 percent growth).

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala, MGM): Borgata held steady at No. 2 in the market with $4.2 million in revenue. It was the only operator with revenue increases over August in both poker and casino. The MGM-branded casino and poker room are both now live, and it’s worth watching if seeing if this moves the needle increase Borgata’s share of the pie.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP): Caesars came back to earth a bit after a stellar August. Revenue ($3.4 million) was down about a million from last month, although it was still up slightly from last year. It’s been feast or famine to some extent for CZR, which has been both dead last and No. 2 at different points this year. The poker segment was a distant last even as PokerStars looked vulnerable.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse): Golden Nugget was back to its old tricks ($5.7 million revenue), and was one of the few operators to most meaningful gains from August. Much like most months, GN posted huge gains from 2016 (up 64 percent). Still, it fell short of the $6 million mark it had achieved twice before in 2017.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ): After a poor August, Resorts ($3.6 million revenue) was back in the middle of the pack. That was due entirely to an increase from August on the casino side, even as PokerStars saw a double-digit decrease in revenue percentage-wise.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin): The Trop was approaching $4 million in revenue last month, but it clocked in at just $3.4 million in September. While that’s down 10 percent MoM, it’s up more than 10 percent YoY.

Detailed numbers by operator / product

 Sept. 2017Aug. 2017 (normalized for extra day in Aug.)Difference month over month (normalized)Sept. 2016Difference year over year
Borgata poker$632,568$628,9400.58%$631,4760.17%
Borgata casino$3,607,484$3,526,9302.28%$2,755,76130.91%
Borgata overall$4,240,052$4,155,8702.03%$3,387,23725.18%
Caesars poker$561,705$590,859-4.93%$641,398-12.42%
Caesars casino$2,860,880$3,713,192-22.95%$2,597,04710.16%
Caesars overall$3,422,585$4,304,051-20.48%$3,238,4455.69%
Golden Nugget casino$5,710,919$5,023,50413.68%$3,659,34856.06%
Resorts poker$707,976$795,388-10.99%$744,045-4.85%
Resorts casino$2,881,946$2,615,26710.20%$2,166,99632.99%
Resorts overall$3,589,922$3,410,6555.26%$2,911,04123.32%
Trop casino$3,428,304$3,698,384-7.30%$3,035,82812.93%
Total poker$1,902,249$2,015,187-5.60%$2,016,919-5.69%
Total casino$18,489,533$18,577,276-0.47%$14,214,98030.07%
Total overall$20,391,782$20,592,464-0.97%$16,231,89925.63%
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Dustin Gouker
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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.