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.
It was the biggest month in the history of online gambling in New Jersey. And that’s despite the fact that there are only 28 days in February.
Online casinos and poker in the state fell just a few thousand dollars short of the $22 million mark in total revenue. That’s up slightly from January, a month with three more days.
The top-line numbers continue to be impressive:
- For 12 months straight, combined online casino and poker revenue has topped $20 million in NJ.
- It’s the fifth time revenue has gone past $21 million. It’s also the first time it’s happened in consecutive months.
- The industry generated a record $785,433 per day; the old high of $708,463 came last month.
- Lifetime online gambling revenue in the state is on pace to hit $1 billion by the end of the year.
Other February 2018 highlights
- Golden Nugget looks down at everyone. Once upon a time — like a few months ago — $6 million in revenue was pretty impressive for an NJ operator. Now, Golden Nugget is knocking on the door of $8 million in monthly revenue.
- And then there’s everyone else. The other four licensees were all between $3 million and $4 million in revenue. Borgata, which had been a clear No. 2 for some time, fell back to the pack and was in danger of being overtaken by Resorts.
- Yikes, poker. Poker revenue was down almost 25 percent from last February. When normalizing for the extra days in the prior month, revenue was at least just about flat, which is about the only good news for the vertical.
Top line numbers
Revenue / month-over-month change (normalized for three extra days in January) / year-over-year change
- Overall: $22 million / +10.8% / +17.5%
- Casino: $20.2 million / +11.9% / +22.2%
- Poker: $1.8 million / +0.6%/ -18.3%
Poker clocked in at just $1.8 million in revenue. The upward trend for casino is certainly not being copied by the state’s poker operators. Revenue was $1.9 million in January, so in essence poker was flat month-over-month when you take into account the extra days. The fact that casino is going up and up and poker isn’t tagging along for the ride is a concerning trend.
There were no such concerns for casino, with new records being the norm. Casino by itself hit $20 million for the second straight month. Year-over-year growth, which had a chance of slowing, was still over 20 percent. That’s not quite the 30 and 40 percent YoY growth we saw at times in 2017, but it’s still impressive for an industry that is now five years old.
Overall, the $22 million mark seems to be a given in March given the strong numbers in February. The last time overall revenue saw double-digit percentage MoM growth came last February.
Winners and losers
In alphabetical order, by license holder:
- Borgata (Borgata, PartyPoker, Pala, MGM): Borgata had a streak of six months of revenue in excess of $4 million before February. Numbers were actually up slightly from January when accounting for the extra days. But still, Borgata’s days of thinking it could lead the NJ online casino market are over, at least for the short term.
- Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP): The poker product was a success story, up $40,000 from January even with fewer days. It was one of the few NJ segments that was up in real-dollar terms MoM. The casino product ($3.2 million) brought up the rear in NJ but the numbers were encouraging vs. last month, even if revenue was down 20 percent from last year.
- Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse): So, it’s safe to say Golden Nugget is doing pretty well. January = $7.3 million. February (less days) = $7.9 million. That’s nothing short of extraordinary. It’s 53 percent growth YoY and 20 percent growth from January when accounting for the extra days. Good luck to anyone hoping to catch up.
- Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ): Like it did last month, Resorts had the best month this side of GN. YoY growth came in at 42 percent. At just under $3.8 million, the Resorts sites are close to overtaking Borgata’s network. Meanwhile, PokerStars was down six percent MoM (normalized) and 22 percent YoY.
- Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin): The Trop got out of the basement after taking a turn in last place for all operators last month. Revenue was up just three percent YoY but climbed 13 percent MoM when normalizing for days.
Detailed numbers by operator / product
| ||February 2018||January 2018 (+3 days)||Difference month over month (NORMALIZED)||February 2017||Difference year over year|
|Golden Nugget casino||$7,885,648||$6,593,381||19.60%||$5,175,795||52.36%|