With physical casinos in New Jersey still closed to prevent the coronavirus spread, online gambling is essentially the only source of revenue left for operators.
Fortunately, that well has proven to be deeper than initially measured.
NJ online gambling sites won a combined $80 million in April, up substantially from a record of $65 million in March. Ignoring the shortened February, operators in the state have reached new high-water marks every month since June 2019.
It was the opposite story for NJ online sportsbooks, which are still floundering under the suspension of most live events. Their contribution of less than $3 million represents a much smaller component of the total than a typical month with sports.
Data comes from the latest report published by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Here’s what stands out from the April numbers for online casinos and poker sites:
In these unprecedented times, casinos in states with legal iGaming are able to generate some cash flow. For the first (and hopefully last) time, online gambling in April accounted for 100% of all gaming revenue in the state.
“Seeing New Jersey’s retail sportsbook handle at zero and its land-based casinos generate no revenue is jarring, laying bare just how much these shutdowns are costing the industry,” said PlayNJ analyst Dustin Gouker.
Online casinos are the primary alternative, of course, and Golden Nugget continues to set the pace for the market. Its revenue reached $27.6 million in April, by far the best in the business and nearly twice as much as its nearest rival.
The chase pack has bunched up a bit, as four other operators found themselves hovering around $15 million for the month.
Resorts was officially the silver medalist, with the bulk of its $16.1 million in revenue stemming from its partnership with DraftKings Casino. More than ever before, cross-sell is king for sports-first operators like DraftKings.
Borgata snagged the last spot on the podium with almost $15.9 million in April revenue.
Revenue / ∆ Monthly / ∆ Yearly:
The numbers tell the whole story in black and white. Every NJ online gambling operator saw remarkable growth across both verticals in April.
The fact that online casinos are thriving should come as no surprise. Revenue for that segment was already trending steadily upward prior to the coronavirus outbreak, though it still represents a fraction — barely 20% — of the monthly haul from land-based casinos pre-shutdown.
NJ online poker sites, meanwhile, are experiencing a complete rebirth.
Revenue for the segment crossed $5 million for the first time ever in April, largely bolstered by flagship tournament series hosted by WSOP (Spring Online Championships), PokerStars (NJSCOOP), and partypoker (Spring Poker Open).
Only time will tell whether or not the surge is temporary or represents a new longterm baseline for poker sites in NJ.
There wasn’t any in-person sports betting in any US state for the entire month of April with casinos across the US shut down. For some, the end of retail betting means the end of sports betting altogether.
That is not the case in New Jersey, of course, where online/mobile betting historically accounts for around 85% of the total in any given month. Of course, that split was 100% for April, with all wagering being conducted outside of physical sportsbooks.
The small library of available betting options makes for a low ceiling, so it may be some time before the segment returns to full health. All major US sporting events are still suspended, driving new interest in lesser-known sports ranging from the unpopular to the downright obscure.
See more of April’s sports betting data at Legal Sports Report.
|April 2020||March 2020||Δ Monthly||April 2019||Δ Yearly|
|Golden Nugget casino||$27,642,909||$23,301,487||+18.63%||$13,854,527||+99.52%|
|Hard Rock casino||$4,483,830||$3,317,205||+35.17%||$1,554,913||+188.37%|
|Ocean Resort casino||$1,131,108||$658,916||+71.66%||$308,409||+266.76%|