Editor’s note: New Jersey releases the gross revenue numbers for its regulated online poker sites and NJ online casinos each month, generally about two weeks after the close of the month.
New Jersey online casinos didn’t just squeak past the old record for revenue in March. They destroyed it.
Online casino and poker generated $25.6 million in the month, the best month in the five-year history of the industry by more than $3 million. More on the astounding numbers:
- Revenue had not surpassed $22 million in any month previously. The best month before this was February, which came up just several thousand dollars short of that mark (despite just 28 days in the month).
- Year over year, revenue was up nearly $4 million ($21.7 million in March 2017).
- It’s the sixth time total revenue has gone past $21 million. It’s also the first time it’s happened in three consecutive months.
- For 13 months straight, combined online casino and poker revenue has topped $20 million in NJ.
- Lifetime online gambling revenue in the state is still on pace to hit $1 billion by the end of the year.
Other March 2018 highlights
- Golden Nugget blows away the field. Not shockingly, the record-setting month was by the top online casino. GN accounted for about a third of all revenue ($8.65 million). It’s the first time the casino has passed $8 million in a month.
- No one challenging the throne, still. It was a good month for most other operators, too, but they are still way behind Golden Nugget. No other operator was within $4 million of GN.
- Hail Caesars. It was a great month for the sites under the Caesars license. Caesars was the only licensee to post double-digit growth month over month when normalized for the extra days in March from February.
- Who needs poker? Even if you took online poker revenue out of the mix, it still would have been a record revenue month. Online casinos alone generated $23.6 million.
Top line numbers
Revenue / month-over-month change (normalized for three extra days in March) / year-over-year change
- Overall: $25.7 million / +5% / +17.6%
- Casino: $23.6 million / +5.5% / +21.1%
- Poker: $2 million / +0.2% / -12.7%
Poker clocked in at $1.97 million. That’s far from its best days soon after launch in 2013, but it was the vertical’s best month since August of last year. That was the last time poker surpassed $2 million. It’s down more than a quarter of a million year over year, however.
Like most months, casino carried the industry. Never before has casino surpassed $21 million. In fact, it’s only gone past $20 million twice (and both of those occurrences came in the past two months). Suffice it to say, the $23-million-plus figure is an outlier and the biggest month-to-month jump in history. Casino only accounted for $13 million in March 2016, to illustrate exactly just how far it’s climbed in a short time.
Overall, it’s another amazing month for the industry. Not even the most optimistic prognosticators could have foreseen such huge growth still coming this late in the market’s timeline.
Winners and losers
In alphabetical order, by license holder:
- Borgata (Borgata, PartyPoker, Pala, MGM): It was a solid month from the leader on the land-based gaming side, although it fell in the middle of the pack among all licensees. Casino revenue surpassed $3.9 million, its best month ever on that front. Poker was actually up over February both in real dollar terms ($622K) and normalized for the extra days in the month.
- Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP): Caesars continues to be the most mercurial brand, sometimes putting up huge numbers seemingly out of nowhere. It ascended to second place in the market this month ($4.5 million); not that long ago it was in the basement. The big month came on the back of $3.8 million in casino revenue, also its best month on record. (Casino revenue was up 40 percent YoY.) Poker did not enjoy a similar bounce, however, as the WSOP/888 network lags in last place.
- Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse): Despite setting a new revenue mark, it wasn’t all rainbows and sparkles. Normalized for February’s extra days, revenue was actually down a bit. Still, there’s not much not to like. Before last month, GN had never surpassed $8 million in revenue. Before December, it had never surpassed $7 million. Flat months aren’t a problem, and it more points to how good February was. And the numbers were still up 40 percent YoY.
- Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ): Resorts followed GN’s formula, seeing a relatively flat month on all fronts, poker included. The $3.5 million in casino revenue was a new record for Resorts in any month, though.
- Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin): There wasn’t much to write home about for Trop. Revenue was flat MoM and down four percent YoY. It was the only operator under $4 million in revenue.
Detailed numbers by operator / product
| ||March||Feb. (normalized for three fewer days)||Difference month over month (normalized)||Feb. 2017||Difference year over year
|Golden Nugget casino||$8,655,240||$8,730,539||-0.86%||$6,176,515||40.13%