NJ Online Gambling Revenue Cracks $20 Million For Second Straight Month, Little Thanks To Poker

May 15, 2017
NJ Online Gambling Revenue Cracks $20 Million For Second Straight Month, Little Thanks To Poker


April was another high flying month for the NJ online gambling industry. According to figures released Friday by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, the industry pulled in its second highest tally in industry history: $20,822,026.

This marks the second consecutive month that the market has leapfrogged the $20 million barrier. Last month, it shattered an industry record, generating $21.75 million.

But it’s not all roses for the burgeoning industry. NJ online poker continues to comprise a smaller and smaller piece of the state’s iGaming pie.

Top-line New Jersey online casino figures for April

In April, NJ online casinos generated $18,853,649.

At first glance, this figure comes off as something of a downer. It represents a 3.3 percent decline over March, and an annual uptick of “only” 31 percent — which is the industry’s second lowest margin of yearly growth since October.

However, the reality is far more optimistic:

  • On a relative scale (April has one less day than March), month-over-month revenue was pretty much flat. Considering that the state’s online casino arm shattered an industry record in March, its ability to duplicate that effort is fairly remarkable.
  • March aside, NJ online casinos generated more revenue last month than in any other month in industry history, by more than $2.3 million.
  • April saw at least one operator set a new record for monthly revenue. (More on this later).

April signified the first month that online casino revenue comprised more than 90 percent of total industry revenue — 90.5 percent to be exact.

This is a far cry from the situation in the industry’s early days, when online poker accounted for roughly 20 percent of revenue. The shifting of the guard is as much a testament to the explosive growth of online casinos as it is to the struggles online poker faces in closed markets.

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Top-line NJ online poker numbers for April

If the tallies for NJ online poker last month look grim, that’s because they are. Collectively, the industry’s three sites and networks only generated $1,968,377, marking the first time they’ve combined for less than $2 million since way back in June 2016.

For the month, revenue was down 12.6 percent, or 9.7 percent on an equivalence scale. Year-over-year revenue dipped a staggering 23.9 percent. Although in fairness, this is not a truly representative comp. This is because April 2016 was the first full month that PokerStars hosted operations in New Jersey.

Still, it’s difficult to ignore that WSOP/888 posted its lowest monthly revenue tally ever, and that Party/Borgata had its second worst month in industry history ($597,571).

Even PokerStars couldn’t pick up the slack, generating just $793,638 — its third worst month ever.

Granted, operators weren’t exactly overly active on the promotional front last month. And April does signify the beginning of the seasonal downtrend.

But, that doesn’t take away from the fact that NJ online poker is really no bigger now than before PokerStars entered the equation.

All hail…Tropicana

Tropicana AC had a banner month in April, setting a new revenue record for the second consecutive month.

Until recently, the license holder had been a model of consistency in the market. Tropicana rarely had a month where it failed to generate less than $3 million, but never made headlines either.

That’s since changed, as last month the operator — which consists of Tropicana Casino and Virgin Casino — pulled in over $3.86 million. In April, it did one better, generating $3.94 million.

Full NJ online casino revenue breakdown for April as follows:

  • Borgata: $3,615538
  • Caesars: $2,939,321
  • Golden Nugget: $5,377,943
  • Resorts: $2,981,732
  • Tropicana: $3,939,115

Also notable: It was the third straight month that Golden Nugget AC surpassed $5 million in monthly revenue — all in the absence of an online poker site. However, last month’s tally represented a fairly steep decline over March, when the operator pulled in a record shattering $6.18 million.

Outlook for May

May is shaping up to be a rare solid month for online poker, thanks primarily to the onset of the NJSCOOP on PokerStars, and the trial launch of BLAST on WSOP/888.

Also, WSOP has begun to ramp up its promotional spend in anticipation of the live World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. This generally has a positive impact on the site’s revenue.

For online casinos, the outlook is more spotty. In both May 2015 and 2016, online casino revenue experienced modest monthly declines. It’s not entirely clear if this pattern is mere coincidence or the beginning of a trend.

Seasonality doesn’t generally appear to impact NJ online casino revenue, or at least not to the extent it does online poker. The only month where revenue is consistently up by titanic margins is December, which presumably has a lot to do with operators rolling out a host of enticing holiday promos.

We’ll say this though: It doesn’t look like total industry revenue will be falling back below $20 million any time soon.

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