Another month, another record for NJ online gambling revenue

With New Jersey Casinos Still Closed, Online Gambling Sites Win Record $86 Million In May

Although there are now more US casinos that are open than closed, those in Atlantic City are still shuttered. At a result, New Jersey‘s gambling industry remained fully dependent on online revenue through the month of May.

The good news is that business has been booming for online casinos and poker rooms during the shutdown.

NJ online gambling sites brought in $86 million in revenue in May, while sportsbook apps contributed another $10 million.

Data comes from the latest report published by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.

NJ online gambling highlights: May 2020

Here are some of the numbers that stick out from the May data:

  • Combined revenue for casino and poker reached yet another monthly record at $85,939,942.
  • Online casinos also set a record on their own, pulling in $81,423,413.
  • Poker sites generated $4,516,529 in rake, more than 2.5x their revenue for May 2019.

It’s hard to overstate the important of online gambling in recent months for the states that allow it. Those without modernized forms of gaming have seen that source of revenue drop to zero, compounding the layoffs and furloughs affecting the workforce.

That said, even a mature online gambling market like New Jersey’s isn’t quite enough to make up for the casino shutdown. Total gross gaming revenue was down to about one-third of last year’s numbers despite the surge in online business.

With online gambling revenue taxed at almost twice the rate of land-based casino gambling, however, operators paid a total of $14.2 million in state and local taxes. That represents a more modest decline of 40% from May 2019.

As usual, Golden Nugget was the top dog in the state for online casino revenue, grossing $29,057,893.

Resorts held onto its second-place spot in May, with $15,918,179 in online casino revenue — much of that from DraftKings Casino — plus $1,746,417 from PokerStars NJ for a total of $17,664,596.

NJ online gambling revenue breakdown

Revenue / ∆ Monthly / ∆ Yearly:

  • Total: $85.9 million / +7.4% / +124%
  • Online casinos: $81.4 million / +8.9% / +123%
  • Online poker: $4.5 million / -12% / +151%

Most of the bigger operators followed the overall trend in near-lockstep, with monthly increases in the 8%-10% range. Smaller ones exhibited more volatility.

The biggest gains of the month (+20%) were for Hard Rock, the second-lowest grossing of the state’s seven online operators. Conversely the smallest of the lot, Ocean Casino, was also the only one to record a month-on-month decrease (-7.7%).

Online poker sites moved in the opposite direction, though the decline largely stems from a lack of major tournaments. April’s numbers benefited tremendously from the WSOP Spring Online Championships and PokerStars NJSCOOP.

With no equivalently large series in May, it’s perhaps surprising the dip wasn’t larger than 12%.

NJ online sports betting revenue

  • Total NJ sports betting: $9.91 million
  • Online sports betting: $10.03 million

Despite a limited menu of options, headlined by NASCAR and UFC, NJ online sportsbooks managed to generate just over $10 million in revenue.

The total number is slightly smaller when accounting for the small adjustments from retail books. Either way, it’s almost a fourfold increase over April numbers, a trend that is likely to continue as more betting options present themselves.

See more of May’s sports betting data at Legal Sports Report.

- Alex is a journalist from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. Now site runner for Online Poker Report, he has been writing about poker and the online gambling industry in various capacities since 2014.
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