NJ online casinos increase revenue 4.8% in January 2021 while poker rooms fall 9.1%

NJ Online Casino & Poker Starts 2021 On Right Foot With First $100 Million Month

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).

NJ online gambling revenue highlights – Jan 2021

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:

  • Growth in daily average revenue has been continuous for the past six months, at an average pace of 2.9% per month.
  • Only one month in the past year has seen a decrease in daily average revenue.
  • iGaming generated $15,536,852 in tax revenue for New Jersey, the third straight record month.

NJ market analysis: by licensee

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:

  • Third-place Resorts saw a bigger increase in gross revenue (8.7%) than either Golden Nugget or Borgata, despite lower promotional spending.
  • These top three license holders collectively control nearly 80% of the market, and it could become a tight three-horse race within the year.
  • Tropicana rebounded strongly in January after two weak months in November and December. Its revenue increased 17.4%, but still remains below its all-time high in October.
  • Caesars had the worst month of any operator, down 17%.

NJ market analysis: by vertical

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).

NJ sports betting revenue – Jan 2021

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.

For more details and analysis, see the latest from LegalSportsReport.

NJ online gambling revenue breakdown

 Jan '21Dec '20Δ M/MJan '20Δ Y/Y
Golden Nugget
Hard Rock
Ocean Resort
All Operators
- 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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