NJ online casinos hit record high as poker slumps

New Jersey Online Gaming Revenue Plateaus In September

New Jersey online gambling revenue rose yet again in September, as calculated on a daily basis. The gain was small, however, and with only 30 days in September, the state’s casinos didn’t quite set a new monthly record.

NJ gambling sites combined to bring in $87.6 million for the month, just shy of August’s total. Similarly, August’s numbers were only marginally higher than July’s, so the state has essentially been treading water since the summer.

Retail casino gaming also hit a plateau. Revenue from land-based casino gaming dropped $2.8 million relative to August, though here to the monthly loss works out to a slight increase if calculated on a daily basis. Meanwhile sportsbooks increased their contribution by $5.6 million.

Total combined gaming revenue for the state was $323 million, a month-on-month decrease of 1%. Adding in sports betting brings the grand total to $368 million, a gain of just under 1%.

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

NJ online gambling highlights: September 2020

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

  • Combined revenue for online casinos and poker in August amounted to $87,633,697, down $139,271 from August
  • Calculated on a daily basis, revenue averaged $2,921,123, setting a new record.
  • Online casinos won $85,079,481, an increase of 0.4% from August and a new record.
  • Online poker site revenue tumbled to $2,554,216, down 16% from $3,035,003 in August.

Though the overall market remained quite steady in September, there was some movement from individual operators. For the most part, their gains or losses were in the single-digit percentages, however.

The biggest gains were for Resorts, which comprises its own brand plus PokerStars, DraftKings and Mohegan Sun. Their combined casino revenue increased 13.8%, and overall revenue 11.9% despite big losses for PokerStars’ poker vertical.

One consequence of that is that the position of market leader Golden Nugget is starting to look more precarious. It has been dominant for a while now, but Borgata surged into a clear number two position last month. Now, the leap for Resorts has put those two in a virtual deadlock at just over $20 million in revenue apiece for September.

At the same time, Golden Nugget dropped almost 6%, to just over $26 million. That’s still enough of a lead that it should finish the year on top, yet a close enough three-way race that we could see a new front-runner emerge in 2021.

Conversely, fourth-place Caesars had the worst month of any operator, down 9.9% in total iGaming revenue, dropping to just $8.3 million. The gap between the top three licensees and the rest of the pack has therefore grown quite large.

NJ online gambling revenue breakdown

Revenue / ∆ Monthly (normalized) / ∆ Yearly:

  • Total: $87.63 million / +3.2% / +113.0%
  • Online casinos: $84.74 million / +3.8% / +115.4%
  • Online poker: $3.04 million / -13.0% / +55.9%

The fact that revenue hit a new monthly record in August but not September is a bit misleading. Daily average revenue increased 3.2% in September. While not huge, that’s actually much better than the razor-thin 0.3% margin by which August beat July.

That increase may be largely seasonal. The year-on-year increase for casinos in September was 115.4%, almost unchanged from 115.1% last month. The reopening of retail casinos has done quite little to reverse the increase in online activity that followed their closure, which is a positive sign for the industry.

For online poker, it’s more of a good news, bad news story. It’s hard to look at a 13% monthly drop in revenue and call that a positive. On the other hand, it’s a much smaller decrease than 37% in August, as players in the state recovered from the excitement of the summer’s online bracelet events on WSOP.

Total gaming taxes for September amounted to $32.0 million, a slight drop from $32.4 million in August. As with revenue, it’s important to take into account the shorter month. Calculated on a daily average basis, tax revenue for the state increased by just over 2%.

NJ online sports betting revenue

  • Total NJ sports betting: $45.1 million
  • Online sports betting: $39.7 million

NJ online sports betting has been rising steadily for many months since sports began to return. September was a particularly big month, featuring both the beginning of the NFL season and, unusually, the NHL Stanley Cup finals. The NBA finals were likewise just getting underway at the end of the month.

Online sports betting totaled nearly $40 million revenue, a 35% year-on-year increase. This was supplemented by additional $5 million from retail sportsbooks. That’s a decline of 36% from September 2019, yet the total of $45.1 million represents an increase of 19%.

Handle totaled $748,588,349 across both retail and online channels, up from about $668 million in August. Hold increased very slightly, to just over 6%.

Unsurprisingly, Meadowlands Racetrack remained the dominant force in the market. Thanks to FanDuel, its share of the mobile market increased to more than 63%. Its retail betting share fell to 58% as Tropicana and Resorts go back in the game.

Resorts, which is home to Fox Bet and DraftKings, remained the number two licensee for mobile betting, with a 12% share of the market.

For more details about the resurgence of NJ sports betting, get the full story at Legal Sports Report.

Detailed numbers by operator/product

 Sep 2020Aug 2020Month Chg.Sep 2019Year Chg.
Golden Nugget
Hard Rock
Grand Total
- 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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