$20 million seems to be the new benchmark for operators, at least until player pools are combined with Nevada and Delaware thanks to the compact signed back in October. Add the Pennsylvania market to those numbers and $20 million will seem like a drop in the bucket. Or at least that’s what the online gaming industry is banking on.
November 2017 online gaming revenue summary
- Casino: $18.8 million for the month
(Up 4.3% month over month for a 24.6% increase year over year)
- Poker: $1.8 million for the month
(Down -3.3% month over month for a -13.1% decrease year over year)
- Overall: $20.6 million for the month
(Up 3.5% month over month for a 20% increase year over year)
It’s the casinos that are driving the stellar online growth. Any industry would welcome a 24.6% year-over-year increase, which is exactly what the casino revenues produced as of November.
As for poker, the results aren’t quite as rosy. Sporting a 3.3% decrease in revenues from last month and 13.1% decrease in year-over-year revenues to date, the declining revenue trend is worrisome.
In fact, November recorded the second-worst monthly poker performance since 2015. And it doesn’t help that PokerStars had its second-worst month since entering the New Jersey market.
There is no denying that poker is hoping for some sort of miracle. The only ace up their sleeve is the combining player pools, which as mentioned above, isn’t likely to happen until sometime next year.
And while the casino side of the business is doing all of the work, poker’s losses helped produce the second worst year-over-year growth number for 2017. Online gaming as a whole saw a 20% year over year growth, which is nothing to sneeze at, but the number is headed in the wrong direction.
Online revenue detail by Operator
Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse)
Golden Nugget continues to lead the pack with its casino revenues. For the month, Golden Nugget produced $6,193,991 which equals a month over month increase of 4.27% and a year over year increase of 62.90%.
There is no ignoring the imposing 63% growth so far this year, and one wonders if it’s a good thing they are not in the poker market right now.
Borgata (Borgata, Party, Pala, MGM)
Overall revenue for Borgata came in at $4,267,738 for the month of November, a growth of 12.04% year over year. Double-digit growth would make most CEOs giddy, but compared to the 63% growth Golden Nugget is sporting, Borgata is running a distant second.
There is a silver lining, while the losses in poker are bringing their numbers down, their losses are less than those of their poker competitors.
Which leaves Borgata wondering what it can do to get in the black. Even with the launch of the new MGM-branded casino, they are struggling to lure a significant number of new players to their platform.
Borgata’s revenue numbers:
- Casino: $3,691,299 million for the month
(Up 7.37% month over month for a 15.82% increase year over year)
- Poker: $576,439 for the month
(Down -4.98% month over month for a -7.31% decrease year over year)
- Overall: $4,267,738 million for the month
(Up 5.2% month over month for a 12.04% increase year over year)
Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ)
Resorts had the highest percentage increase of all operators in the casino in November. Unfortunately for them, they also had the greatest revenue decline in their poker rooms.
Those numbers put them at number three regarding overall growth in the market. And again, the big story is the significant losses in poker.
It will be interesting to see if PokerStars will help drive poker revenue by including promotions to its live events. Their live events are enticing on their own, but with the announcement of the PokerStars Poker Players Championship earlier this week, the excitement level has gone to a new high.
It’s a wait-and-see game to know if they will be offering satellites and other promotions specifically for the New Jersey market. Will these kinds of promotions be enough to drive up their poker numbers? Only time will tell.
Resorts’ revenue numbers:
- Casino: $2,834,301 million for the month
(Up 8.68% month over month for an 18.95% increase year over year)
- Poker: $693,463 for the month
(Down -8.36% month over month for a -16.38% decrease year over year)
- Overall: $3,527,764 million for the month
(Up 4.84% month over month for a 9.83% increase year over year)
Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP)
With some pretty decent year-over-year growth numbers for most operators, Caesars continued to have financial challenges by reporting basically flat numbers overall, due largely impart to a huge deficit in poker revenue.
One thing is for sure, as everyone tries to figure out the magic revenue driver for poker, it’s probably most critical for Caesars.
Caesar’s revenue numbers:
- Casino: $2,817,155 million for the month
(Up 4.47% month over month for a 3.21% increase year over year)
- Poker: $539,897 for the month
(Up 6.2% month over month for a -14.64% decrease year over year)
- Overall: $3,357,052 million for the month
(Up 4.75% month over month for a -0.15% decrease year over year)
Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin)
Tropicana, while posting a healthy 9.37% increase in year-over-year revenue, was the only casino operator to realize a decrease (-2.57%) in overall revenue from the prior month.
They will obviously be looking to reverse that trend and get back on par with their competition to end the year strong.
If one thing is clear as the year nears its end, is that online poker is a drain on the overall revenue numbers produced by online gaming operators in New Jersey.
It’s too late to salvage the poker revenue numbers this year. But the big hope is there will be more positive legislative news and the realization of a combined player pool in 2018.