Golden Nugget leads market by a wide margin. PokerStars had a rough month

NJ Online Gambling Sets New Record For Annual Revenue, With Two Months Left In 2017

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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.

October 2017 highlights

  • 2017 sets a record, with two months to go. New Jersey online gambling has generated more than $200 million in revenue through the first ten months of the year. The crazy part? That makes it the best year in the short history of legal iGaming, with the tallies from November and December still to come. The state’s casinos will close the year with about a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue.
  • Golden Nugget leads the way. At this point, short of some sort of shakeup, it’s difficult to see how anyone would wrest the No. 1 spot in NJ online casinos away from Golden Nugget. It was well clear of the field and accounted for roughly a third of all casino-only revenue.
  • It was not a good month for poker. There’s not much sugar-coating the poker side of the story, as revenue was down significantly from October 2016. Player sharing with Nevada and Delaware can’t start soon enough for the state’s online poker operators.

Top line numbers

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

  • Overall: $20.6 million / -2.4% / +23.4%
  • Casino: $18.6 million / -2.5% / +30.1%
  • Poker: $1.9 million / -1.6% / -19.1%

Poker was down almost 20 percent year over year, which is a tough pill to swallow for the industry. It was the third-worst monthly performance in 2017, and that came despite two major tournament series in the state. Things can only go up from here, or at least operators have to hope that’s the case.

Casino was down slightly from the previous month, but still showed strong year over growth, which is a trend we’ve seen recently. Casino revenue alone hasn’t dipped below $18 million since February.

Overall, the market continued to perform well despite the dismal numbers for poker. It was the eighth straight month that total casino revenue eclipsed $20 million.

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Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala, MGM): Borgata has reestablished itself as a clear — albeit distant — No. 2 to Golden Nugget in NJ. Its total of $4.2 million of revenue was down slightly from September — something almost each of the state’s online casinos experienced. But YoY revenue ticked up 14 percent; for just online casino, that figure ticks up to 21 percent.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP): Caesars held down last place again with $3.3 million combined poker and casino revenue, although it’s not very far behind the rest of the market whose initials aren’t GN. While Caesars recently had a month where it surpassed $4 million in revenue, this seems to be a more normal expectation. The WSOP / 888 network did not hold a big tourney series in the month and its numbers suffered according. But it is hosting the NJ Poker Classic in November.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse): Golden Nugget surpassed $6 million for the third time in its history (and this year). It was almost $2 million ahead of second-place Borgata, showing there’s little reason to doubt its dominance in the short term.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ): PokerStars held its second-ever NJ Championship of Online Poker in October. And while revenue was up 10 percent from September and still easily leads the other networks, the YoY picture was bleak. PokerStars was down 23 percent from last October ($1 million in revenue vs. $780k last month), and the NJCOOP was in October both times. Resorts’ casino products came in last out of all operators ($2.7 million), although it did see 56 percent YoY growth.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin): The Trop again found itself in the bottom tier of revenue at about $3.4 million. Its 11 percent YoY growth was significantly lower than the average for all operators.

Detailed numbers by operator / product

 Oct. 2017Sept. 2017 (normalized for one less day)Difference month over month (normalized)Oct. 2016Difference year over year
Borgata poker$626,866$653,654-4.10%$734,152-14.61%
Borgata casino$3,552,411$3,727,733-4.70%$2,932,59721.14%
Borgata overall$4,179,277$4,381,387-4.61%$3,666,74913.98%
Caesars poker$525,331$580,429-9.49%$641,929-18.16%
Caesars casino$2,786,434$2,956,243-5.74%$2,411,72015.54%
Caesars overall$3,311,765$3,536,671-6.36%$3,053,6498.45%
Golden Nugget casino$6,138,184$5,901,2834.01%$4,088,22550.14%
Resorts poker$781,948$731,5756.89%$1,013,671-22.86%
Resorts casino$2,694,975$2,978,011-9.50%$1,727,47156.01%
Resorts overall$3,476,923$3,709,586-6.27%$2,741,14226.84%
Trop casino$3,461,476$3,542,581-2.29%$3,116,12311.08%
Total poker$1,934,145$1,965,657-1.60%$2,389,752-19.07%
Total casino$18,633,480$19,105,851-2.47%$14,276,13630.52%
Total overall$20,567,625$21,071,508-2.39%$16,665,88823.41%
- 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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