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New Jersey’s online gambling market is going strong out of the gates for 2021. Its online casinos and poker rooms generated a combined $103,771,312 in revenue. It’s the first month on record in state history that this total has broken into the nine figures.
Strictly speaking, January’s gains were modest. The market came extremely close to cracking the $100 million mark in December, coming up just shy at $99,450,065. It is nonetheless an important milestone, and represents an 88.4% year-on-year increase from January 2020.
Those gains have been driven in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has by the same token impacted other channels negatively. Factoring in retail and sports betting revenues, total NJ gaming revenue for January amounted to $346.4 million, a 15.2% year-on-year increase.
These and other figures in this article from the latest revenue report from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
Combined daily average revenue for NJ online casinos and poker rooms amounted to $3,347,462 in January. That’s an increase of 4.35% over December.
More impressively, this growth came alongside a drop in promotional spending, from 5.4% of gross revenue to 4.2%. Net revenue after promotions was up 5.65%, making January the best month by that metric since the casino shutdown.
Here are a few other figures and trends which stand out in the aggregate numbers:
One of the big stories to watch this year in New Jersey is the market leadership race between Golden Nugget and Borgata, which has been brewing for several months now.
Golden Nugget still holds the lead, with $31.2 million in gross revenue in January. Borgata (home to BetMGM online casino) has been catching up, but lost a little ground this month despite increasing its revenue by 5.7%, as Golden Nugget did better with a 5.9% gain.
Competition between the two has led to heavy spending on promotions. Golden Nugget returned 4.9% of gross revenue to players this way, while Borgata spent 4.6%.
Here are some other significant movements in the market:
Last year, we saw that although NJ online poker rooms saw the greater immediate benefit from the closure of retail casinos, they also dropped off sooner and more sharply thereafter.
That trend has continued into 2021, as poker revenue declined 9.1% in January, while casinos rose 4.8%. It is nonetheless up almost 50% year on year, but has seen a drop in seven of the past 12 months, compared to just one downward month for casinos.
That discrepancy applies most to Borgata and its three skins: Borgata Poker, PartyPoker and BetMGM Poker. They collectively saw revenue drop 13.5%, while Borgata’s casino skins gained 6.5%. By contrast, PokerStars NJ and WSOP NJ saw a similar change in revenue to the casinos operating on the same licenses (Resorts and Caesars, respectively).
New Jersey sportsbooks set a new record in January in terms of revenue, but not handle. Collectively, they took nearly $1 billion in bets last month, and looked like they might hit that milestone in January. Instead, betting fell off 3.8%, for a dollar total of $958,717,526.
On the other hand, they fared well against the bettors, increasing hold to 8.6% from 6.7% in December. Consequently, revenue rose to $82,641,414 from $66,386,516, an increase of more than 24%.
As always, online channels dominated the retail sportsbooks. The latter accounted for just 7.5% of total handle, and 10.3% of revenue.
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