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 gambling revenue fell just shy of a new record in September.
Operators combined to earn more than $25.75 million for the month across poker and casino platforms, narrowly missing July’s all-time peak. The online casino vertical did set a new hot lap, though, accounting for more than $24 million of the total.
Some of the September highlights include:
- Online gambling revenue of $25,752,461 represents the second-highest monthly total since launch.
- Online casino revenue of $24,142,472 is the most for any month ever, exceeding $20 million for the ninth consecutive month.
- Total revenue exceeded $20 million for the 19th consecutive month.
- Total year-over-year revenue was up more than 26 percent from last September ($20.4 million).
Other September 2018 highlights
- Golden Nugget continues to lap the field, recording revenue in excess of $8 million for the seventh consecutive reporting period. Its top-line number for September was $9,284,127, the second time it’s crested $9 million in a single month.
- Competing operators keep flirting with the $5 million milestone, but none of them have managed to reach that mark to date. Borgata was once again the closest in September, recording more than $4.5 million in revenue.
- Caesars continues to reap modest benefits of multi-state poker. The WSOP / 888 Poker network moved into the market lead following expansion in May, and its $671,315 in September revenue was the most for any online poker operator.
- A couple months into operation, the new guys are still bringing up the rear. Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock AC combined for just shy of $1 million in September revenue, with Ocean at the very bottom of the totem pole.
Revenue / month-over-month change (normalized for extra day in August) / year-over-year change
- Overall: $25.75 million / +7.3% / +26.3%
- Casino: $24.1 million / +8.5% / +30.6%
- Poker: $1.6 million / -8.4% / -15.4%
It’s hard to ignore the fact that the verticals are trending sharply in opposite directions. While online casino revenue was busy setting a new record, online poker was reaching its lowest point since launch.
All three poker networks posted month-to-month decreases, and Caesars is the only one that’s showing growth over the past year. Both PokerStars NJ (-24 percent) and the Borgata network (-37 percent) are well off their September 2017 numbers. In fact, total online poker revenue hasn’t been this low since November 2013 — the very first month of operation.
Online casino, on the other hand, has not yet hit its ceiling. Revenue reached higher than ever last month, with nearly all operators posting consistent and substantial growth. Resorts (-2.5 percent YOY) served as the lone exception to that rule.
Overall, it’s pretty hard to complain about the health of the market. Even factoring in the struggling poker vertical, total NJ online gambling revenue is up 26.3 percent from last year.
Winners and losers
In alphabetical order, by license holder:
- Borgata (Borgata, PartyPoker, Pala, MGM): Borgata retained the silver medal once again with close to $4.6 million in total revenue. Its online poker network brings up the rear, though, accounting for less than $400,000 in September revenue. That’s down well over a third from the same period last year.
- Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP): Despite running the first-ever WSOP Online Circuit series in September, online poker revenue dipped a few percentage points across the network. Casino revenue surged, though, showing the biggest gains (+30.5 percent) of anyone not named Hard Rock. Caesars climbed past Tropicana and into third place in the market with close to $4.2 million in total revenue this month.
- Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse): We’re starting to run out of superlatives for Golden Nugget. Its $9+ million in revenue more than doubled any of its competitors, accounting for more than one third of the industry total in September.
- Hard Rock (Hard Rock): It’s hard to read too much into the first few months of Hard Rock’s online operations, but the trends look good, at least. Revenue increased by almost 40 percent to $466,261 for September.
- Ocean Resort (Ocean Resort): This one is a little concerning, as fellow newcomer Ocean Resort does not seem to be trending in the right direction. Its September revenue was actually down about 13 percent from August, a possible indication that it is struggling to acquire customers.
- Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ): Resorts is also hurting a bit of late, with revenue slipping across all verticals. Online casino was down 11.5 percent, the second-biggest dip behind Ocean. And online poker was even worse, off about 14.5 percent from August.
- Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin): Tropicana’s online casino has been mostly flat of late, slipping a few percentage points in September. Its revenue of $3,342,768 is now fourth in the market and leaning in the wrong direction.
Incidentally, the numbers for NJ sports betting were published today, too.
Detailed numbers by operator / product
| ||Sep. 2018||Aug. (+1 days)||Difference month over month (Normalized)||Sep. 2017||Difference year over year
|Golden Nugget casino||$9,284,127||$7,908,879||17.39%||$5,710,919||62.57%
|Hard Rock casino||$648,801||$466,261||39.15%||$0||N/A
|Ocean Resort casino||$323,906||$373,357||-13.24%||$0||N/A