Golden Nugget's $7.3 million is best ever for any NJ online casino operator.

Golden Nugget’s Revenue Record ($7.3 Million) Leads Huge Month For NJ Online Casinos

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Editor’s note: 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.

Golden Nugget eclipsed $7 million in online gambling revenue in New Jersey for the first time, setting a record for any iGaming operator in the state.

The top NJ online casino further distanced itself from the rest of the field. The next closest licensee — Borgata — trailed by more than $3 million.

The industry has a whole also set a record of $21.96 million, another high-water mark in the state:

  • It’s the 11th straight month online casino and poker revenue has topped $20 million in NJ.
  • It’s the fourth time revenue has gone past $21 million. The last time it happened was in August. The biggest previous month was March 2017 ($21.75 million).
  • Total revenue continued to experience huge year over year growth. Last January, revenue clocked in at $18.82 million.
  • Lifetime online gambling revenue in the state could hit $1 billion by the end of the year.

The continued growth of NJ online casinos comes as Pennsylvania is set to launch online gambling later this year, and as other states look into online gambling legislation in 2018.

January 2018 highlights

  • Golden Nugget and everyone else. Given Borgata’s dominance of the land-based casino industry in Atlantic City, it continues to be shocking to see them lumped in as an also-ran in the NJ online market. It’s currently holding down the No. 2 spot among all licensees, but it’s also reduced to playing for second place, at this point.
  • $1 billion within reach? The industry nearly hit $250 million in revenue for the calendar year in 2017. With growth continuing to start the new year, it’s very feasible the industry will hit $1 billion in lifetime revenue since it launched in 2013. That’s a lot of money for the state’s casinos, and in turn for the state via tax revenue.
  • Poker is not helping at all. The new record numbers come despite a less-than-stellar performance from the online poker segment. Revenue is down more than 16 percent from last January.

Top line numbers

Revenue / month-over-month change / year-over-year change

  • Overall: $22 million / +5.8% / +16.7%
  • Casino: $20 million / +6.3% / +21.4%
  • Poker: $2 million / +0.7%/ -16.6%

Poker was up just slightly month over month. But the overall trend tells an unappealing story. Last January, revenue was over $2.3 million. The last time poker eclipsed $2 million for a month came seven months ago. Nothing seems to be able to move poker from its recent baseline.

By process of elimination, a bad month for poker means a great month for the casino side, seeing as the industry as a whole set a new record. Online casino numbers, by themselves, had never surpassed $20 million before. In fact, it’s only hit $19 million on two previous occasions. The segment was back to year-over-year growth over 20 percent after it had sunk to 15 percent in December.

Overall, what’s not to like? After what appeared to be a slow December, the industry shook off the cobwebs and set a new record. While YoY growth is no longer in the 30 percent range like it was for large parts of 2017, the current rate is nothing to sneeze at.

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Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:

  • Borgata (BorgataPartyPoker, Pala, MGM): Borgata ($4.15 million) was a bit off from last month’s pace of $4.3 million. But casino was still up about half a million from last January. The poker offering from Borgata did the least poorly of any of the three major networks, down seven percent YoY.
  • Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP): After climbing back to the No. 3 licensee in the market, it was a bad month for the Caesars operators, as everything was down. Total revenue ($3.35 million) dropped 12 percent from the previous month and 17 percent from the previous year. The casino numbers have fluctuated a great deal at times, but $2.8 million seems to be its normal. (Caesars hit a high of $3.8 million in August, the last time total revenue for the state set a record.) The poker side was brutal, down almost 30 percent YoY, the second-worst month in its history.
  • Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse): There’s not much but good things to say about Golden Nugget. Growth up 50 percent YoY from $4.8 million. Up 20 percent from last month ($6.1 million). The only question is if it can establish $7 million as its new floor.
  • Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ): Resorts had the second best month outside of Golden Nugget. Revenue of $3.8 million overall was up 21 percent, and YoY growth was even better (39 percent for casino only, 23 percent overall). Poker was down 14 percent YoY, however.
  • Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin): The Trop did not do much to contribute to the record numbers. It came in last among all licensees with $3.3 million in revenue, although that was up slightly from January 2017.

Detailed numbers by operator / product

 Jan. 2018Dec. 2017Difference month over monthJan. 2017Difference year over year
Borgata poker$626,689$630,823-0.66%$676,819-7.41%
Borgata casino$3,526,844$3,675,415-4.04%$3,091,03414.10%
Borgata overall$4,153,533$4,306,238-3.55%$3,767,85310.24%
Caesars poker$507,048$530,037-4.34%$713,364-28.92%
Caesars casino$2,845,068$3,270,633-13.01%$3,318,899-14.28%
Caesars overall$3,352,116$3,800,670-11.80%$4,032,263-16.87%
Golden Nugget casino$7,299,815$6,086,53419.93%$4,776,21852.84%
Resorts poker$816,959$776,2015.25%$948,683-13.88%
Resorts casino$3,070,386$2,424,80226.62%$2,214,29538.66%
Resorts overall$3,887,345$3,201,00321.44%$3,162,97822.90%
Trop casino$3,269,530$3,363,200-2.79%$3,080,7866.13%
Total poker$1,950,696$1,937,0610.70%$2,338,866-16.60%
Total casino$20,011,643$18,820,5846.33%$16,481,23221.42%
Total overall$21,962,339$20,757,6455.80%$18,820,09816.70%
- 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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