The New Jersey weather might be frightful, but the state’s online gaming industry has been anything but frigid this winter.
On Wednesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released NJ online gambling revenue numbers for February. For the second straight month, online operators find themselves in record territory, posting a new revenue high of nearly $22 million. That figure is even more impressive considering the short month.
You win some; you lose some
Golden Nugget is the report’s big winner and continues to dominate the online gaming space. The casino posted a massive $7.88 million in online casino revenue, up 19.6 percent month-over-month and 52.4 percent year-over-year.
The participation trophy goes to Borgata with its relatively flat month compared to January. Borgata’s $3.79 million in February revenue is good for a meager 1.08 percent increase over the prior month, the lowest month-over-month jump of the bunch.
The good news for Borgata is it’s still sitting in second place with overall revenue of $3.79 million. The bad news for Borgata, besides its slow growth, is Resorts is nipping at its heels. With $3.77 million in revenue, Resorts is primed and ready to plant itself in second place come next month.
Caesars brings up the rear in terms of overall online revenue with $3.19 million. Even with a stellar poker-room performance, Caesars finds itself as the only operator in negative territory in year-over-year growth across the board.
It’s Golden Nugget’s world
If you’ve followed the New Jersey online gambling market, then it’s probably no surprise Golden Nugget leads the pack once again. Golden Nugget is sitting pretty with more than double the revenue of its nearest competitor, Borgata.
But there is a fight brewing for second place for NJ online gambling revenue. Borgata has had a stranglehold on the position the last few months, but as mentioned, Resorts is coming on strong. If Resorts posts a similar number next month, there’s a good chance it will overtake Borgata.
Even so, Golden Nugget isn’t slowing down. It wouldn’t be surprising at all for the leader to distance itself further from the field.
Online casinos thrive, but online poker in NJ struggles
The big story of the month, in addition to the record revenue, is how online poker rooms continue to struggle. They just can’t seem to find any traction.
This NJ online gambling revenue stream barely stayed in positive territory, posting a 0.6 percent increase over last month. This is compared to a nearly 12 percent increase for NJ online casinos. Relatively speaking, poker rooms are just trying to stay afloat.
Caesars can take the credit for keeping the overall poker number out of the dog house. The popular New Jersey Poker Classic II and World Series of Poker satellites took place in February and propelled Caesars’ poker room out of negative territory into double-digit growth.
What’s in store for NJ gambling sites?
Online operators must be trying to figure out just what is needed to gain some ground on Golden Nugget. That will most likely translate into good things for players.
Record revenue in the NJ online gambling market is becoming more of an expectation than a surprise. The operator that chooses to invest in improving the customer experience and actively recruiting new players will reap the rewards.
Additionally, Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City are expected to launch online casinos in New Jersey later this year. As a result, there is sure to be some expansion in the market. We will be watching to see how the market share of existing operators is impacted by new competition.
And finally, another winner is the state of New Jersey. Online casinos paid $3.85 million in taxes last month. That brings the total tax revenue to $134.3 million since New Jersey’s legalization and regulation of the industry.
You can bet more operators will inevitably translate into more tax revenue for the Garden State.