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Brick-and-mortar casinos may have been forced to close, but online gambling in New Jersey has never been hotter.
NJ online gambling sites won a combined $65 million in March, up from $52 million in February. That’s a gain of almost 25%. Even accounting for the longer month, daily revenue was up 17%.
Unfortunately, it was the opposite story for NJ online sportsbooks, which suffered mightily under the suspension of most sporting events. Even so, these added another $13 million to bring total online revenue to $78 million, an all-time monthly record.
Data comes from the latest report published by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Here’s what stands out from the March 2020 numbers for online casinos and poker sites:
The surge seems to have helped smaller sites more than the biggest ones.
Year-on-year growth actually slowed for market leader Golden Nugget. Its revenue was up 64% from March 2019, but that’s a decline from 85% growth in February. Its daily average revenue was up only 10% month-on-month, while several of its competitors saw gains of 20% to 40%.
Second place Resorts was the only operator to see daily average online casino revenues drop, albeit only by 3.2%. Even so, its March online casino revenue of $12.3 million represents a 57% year on year increase, thanks largely to growth of DraftKings Casino.
Its poker partner PokerStars NJ had the best month of any operator or vertical. Daily revenue was up 104.4% month-on-month, and monthly revenue was up 89.1% year-on-year.
Ocean Resort posted the best monthly growth in online casino revenue (44.3%). On the other end of things, Hard Rock slowed down considerably. It had the fastest monthly growth in February, yet increased only 9.8% in March, the worst performance aside from Resorts.
Revenue / ∆ Monthly / ∆ Yearly:
March was a record-setting month in a lot of ways. It was, for starters, the best month in state history for both casino and poker revenue.
NJ online poker sites didn’t just set a record for revenue, however, but also for revenue growth. Online poker has been one of the few global industries to benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic, with many sites hitting traffic levels unseen in almost a decade.
Total combined revenue growth was almost, but not quite an all-time record. The daily average rose 16.6%, which is a considerably greater rate of growth than has been seen in recent years. It is, however, beaten by a couple of months in 2014, when the state’s online gambling industry was just getting established and growing rapidly as a result.
Online sports betting has always dwarfed retail in New Jersey, but in March it was the entire story.
Retail sportsbooks shut down on March 16 along with the casinos. Although all major sports leagues suspended their seasons around the same time, online sportsbooks were able to continue taking bets on whatever remained.
In the early part of the month when they were still open, retail sportsbooks actually managed to post a collective loss of nearly $100,000. As a result, online sportsbooks were responsible for the entirety of the month’s $13.3 million in net winnings, as well as covering those retail losses.
All told, NJ sportsbooks wrote a total of $182 million in tickets in March, less than half of last year’s handle. Online apps accounted for just under 90% of that.
Revenue numbers might have been even worse were it not for the fact that the online sportsbooks had a better-than-average hold of 8.1% for the month. That’s up from 3.7% in February and the third-best margin for the books in the past 12 months.
See more of March’s sports betting data at Legal Sports Report.
|Mar. 2020||Feb. 2020||Δ Monthly||Mar. 2019||Δ Yearly|
|Golden Nugget casino||$23,301,487||$19,778,285||+17.81%||$14,227,820||+63.77%|
|Hard Rock casino||$3,317,205||$2,826,167||+17.37%||$1,630,845||+103.40%|
|Ocean Resort casino||$658,916||$427,177||+54.25%||$497,541||+32.43%|