Full Speed Ahead: NJ Online Gambling Sets More Revenue Records In February, Despite A Short Month

March 14, 2017 595 Reads
NJ online gambling february 2017

If breaking revenue records were an art form, then the New Jersey online gambling industry would have achieved master status long ago.

February’s short length didn’t stop the the market from setting two more benchmarks: one for revenue generated by an individual operator, and another for NJ online casino revenue as a whole.

This, just one month after the state’s operators combined to set a new record for total industry revenue.

Top line NJ online gambling numbers for February

In February, the NJ online gambling industry generated a total of $18,722,090, representing a 26.9 percent year-over-year uptick — despite last February having one extra day.

As come to be expected, the online casino vertical accounted for the overwhelming majority of industry revenue, accounting for $16.55 million versus just under $2.17 million for NJ online poker. That works out to a 88.4 percent market share for online casino, up from 86.5 percent a year ago.

What is surprising is that NJ online casinos somehow managed to set yet another revenue record, despite last month’s then record having come during a month that was three days longer, with an extra weekend day.

Month-over-month online casino revenue was up a scant 0.4 percent, but that hardly tells the full story. To illustrate just how much the industry grew on an equivalency basis in February, we look to the daily revenue breakdown:

  • January 2017 online casino revenue: $16,481,232, $530,684 daily
  • February 2017 online casino revenue: $16,551,663, $591,130 daily (+11.4 percent)

It wasn’t all party hats and confetti for NJ online gambling, however. For one, the year-over-year growth margin of 26.9 percent was the industry’s smallest since last March.

And for just the second time in 16 months, the state’s online casino arm failed to achieve an annual growth rate of 30 percent. (Although at 29.8 percent, it did come extremely close).

All this suggests that the industry is slowly moving toward a stabilization period. It’s certainly not there yet, and we’re probably years away from annual revenue going flat, but the threat begins to loom.

One NJ online casino operator strikes gold

For the first time in industry history, a single operator brought in more than $5 million during a calendar month. To no surprise, that operator was the Golden Nugget.

In February, NJ’s holy trinity (Golden Nugget Casino, Betfair Casino, and Play SugarHouse) generated a total of $5,175,795, shattering the previous record for an individual operator by eight percent. That old record was also set by the Golden Nugget, back in December 2016.

In terms of NJ online gambling market share, no other operator comes close to Golden Nugget. Even second-place Borgata, which supports both online poker and casino games, generated just $3,745,868 in February, over $1.4 million less.

And only the Tropicana came within $2 million of Golden Nugget’s mark based solely on online casino revenue.

Full breakdown by operator as follows:

  • Borgata: $3,130,767 casino, $3,745,868 total
  • Caesars: $2,829,286 casino, $3,495,509
  • Golden Nugget: $5,175,795
  • Resorts: $2,163,012 casino, $3,052,115 total
  • Tropicana: $3,252,803

Caesars was the only operator to experience a significant month-over-month decline, with revenue diving 13.3 percent.

Borgata and Resorts revenue were down slightly, while Tropicana had a quiet banner month, posting its second highest revenue tally ever.

Online poker holds relatively flat

Online poker revenue was down 7.2 percent from January, to $2,170,427. That may look like quite the significant drop, but the situation isn’t nearly as dire as it seems.

First off, January was the second best month for online poker since May 2016, when PokerStars’ launch was still driving the narrative.

Secondly, broken down on a daily basis, February revenue was actually a tad higher.

  • January 2017 online poker revenue (daily avg.): $75,447
  • February 2017 online poker revenue (daily avg.): $77,515 (+2.7 percent)

Also worth mentioning is that year-over-year was up 8.8 percent, slightly more than it was in January (8.7 percent).

On an individual operator basis, not much has changed since last month. PokerStars still controls the show with a 41 percent market share ($889,103), followed by WSOP 888 at 30.7 percent and Borgata/Party at 28.3 percent.

March is shaping up to be no different, as PokerStars looks to boost its market share lead via a month-long promotional event, which sees the site throwing its own one-year anniversary bash.

The next time we could conceivably see a shakeup in the rankings is in May, when WSOP NJ ramps up its promotional spend in the lead-up to the live tournament series. Although in more recent years, the operator has devoted most of its summer spend to its Nevada site.

Industry hits big milestone

If the shattering of two revenue records weren’t already enough, the industry crossed yet another significant threshold last month; one that should put to rest any notion that NJ online gambling is little more than a failed experiment.

Since going live in November 2013, online gambling verticals in NJ have generated over $500 million in revenue, with the expectation that it’ll take significantly less than another 39 months to reach the billion mark.

How much less? Very conservatively assuming that revenue holds steady from here on out, it would take just under 27 months. More realistically, just under two years.