Golden Nugget still leads all NJ online casino operators by a wide margin

NJ Online Gambling Industry Nearly Hits A Quarter Of A Billion Dollars In Revenue For 2017

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.

December 2017 highlights

  • $245 million in revenue for the year. Almost a quarter of a billion in revenue for 2017? That’s an impressive figure for New Jersey. The $245.6 million in gross gaming revenue for the year is up almost 25 percent from 2016 ($196.7 million). Total GGR has been up more than 20 percent ever year full year of the industry’s existence. It’s doubled since 2014 ($122.9 million).
  • Ten straight months over $20 million. December itself was a good month as well, with $20.8 million in revenue for the state’s online casinos and poker rooms. The last time revenue dipped below $20 million was last February.
  • Is growth finally slowing? It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns for the industry, however. Total growth for casino and poker combined was about 13 percent year over year, one of the lowest growth rates we’ve seen in years.
  • Golden Nugget still going strong. Last month, Golden Nugget brought in more than $6 million in revenue in consecutive months for the first time ever. Now, we can make that three months in a row.

Top line numbers

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

  • Overall: $20.8 million / -2.5% / +12.9%
  • Casino: $18.8 million / -3.1% / +15.6%
  • Poker: $1.9 million / 3.6% / -7.8%

Poker was actually up over the previous month while casino was down, a dynamic that doesn’t happen usually in NJ. That’s not really saying much, however, as poker had nearly hit bottom in the previous month. And poker was still down from the previous December by eight percent.

Casino showed signs of slowing. YoY growth dipped below 20 percent for the first time since March 2016. Still, the market grew in December, albeit at a slower rate than we’ve come to expect. Whether that’s a trend or a one-off remains to be seen.

Overall, the market is down MoM and up YoY. The last time annual growth didn’t eclipse 13 percent? April 2015. This could be the first indicator that the industry has finally stopped its fast rate of expansion, but the market has surprised us before. Revenue was also down month over month in casino, when accounting for the extra day in December.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataParty, Pala, MGM): Other than Golden Nugget, Borgata was the only licensee to see a double-digit percentage gain in revenue year over year, as casino was up nearly 20 percent. (Poker basically held steady YoY, bucking the trend at the other two major networks.) With $4.3 million in total revenue, Borgata is half a million clear as the No. 2 operator in the state.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP): Caesars was one of the few operators that could celebrate its month-over-month performance, up an industry high of nearly 10 percent (normalized for November), to $3.8 million across casino and poker. After some months at the rear of the back, Caesars has righted the ship. That’s no thanks to the poker side of things, however, where revenue was down 20 percent YoY.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse): Golden Nugget eclipsed $6 million in revenue for the fifth time and for the third straight month. Its 27 percent growth rate YoY was tops in the industry, but also one of the lower figures its posted in some time.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ): It was a bad month for Resorts, which dropped to last place in overall revenue ($3.2 million). The casino side dropped $400,000 from November, while PokerStars saw an increase in revenue month over month. The story was different on the annual side, as poker was down and casino was up slightly.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin): The Trop held steady to ascend out of the basement in terms of revenue ($3.4 million), ceding that position to the aforementioned Resorts casinos. Annual growth clocked in at nine percent, just off the average for the entire industry.

Detailed numbers by operator / product

 Dec 2017Nov 2017 (Normalized for one less day)Difference month over month (normalized)Dec 2016Difference year over year
Borgata poker$630,823$595,6545.90%$625,3720.87%
Borgata casino$3,675,415$3,814,342-3.64%$3,075,47819.51%
Borgata overall$4,306,238$4,409,996-2.35%$3,700,85016.36%
Caesars poker$530,037$557,894-4.99%$667,264-20.57%
Caesars casino$3,270,633$2,911,06012.35%$2,995,3059.19%
Caesars overall$3,800,670$3,468,9549.56%$3,662,5693.77%
Golden Nugget casino$6,086,534$6,400,457-4.90%$4,790,41827.06%
Resorts poker$776,201$716,5788.32%$808,849-4.04%
Resorts casino$2,424,802$2,928,778-17.21%$2,332,7053.95%
Resorts overall$3,201,003$3,645,356-12.19%$3,141,5541.89%
Trop casino$3,363,200$3,372,460-0.27%$3,087,0538.95%
Total poker$1,937,061$1,870,1263.58%$2,101,485-7.82%
Total casino$18,820,584$19,427,098-3.12%$16,280,95915.60%
Total overall$20,757,645$21,297,223-2.53%$18,382,44412.92%
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Dustin Gouker
- 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.