The records keep coming for New Jersey online casinos. This latest mark, however, is Goliath.
According to online gambling revenue figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) last week, no month in the history of the state’s online casino industry was better than March.
And there is little indication of it slowing.
Best month ever for NJ gambling sites
New Jersey online casino and poker generated $25.6 million last month, the best mark in the five-year history of the industry by more than $3 million. No month had ever surpassed $22 million. (February, in just 28 days, fell short by only a few thousand dollars.)
Online casino revenue reflected a 17.6 percent increase from March 2017, when the industry generated $21.7 million. Year over year, revenue increased by nearly $4 million.
To boot, March’s numbers marked the third straight month online revenue exceeded $21 million — yet another first for the industry. It is also the 13th straight month that online casino and poker revenue topped $20 million in New Jersey.
As a result, lifetime online gambling revenue in the state is on track to reach $1 billion by year’s end.
March revenue highlights
In March 2017, Golden Nugget pulled in $6.1 million. This past month, the casino boasted $8.6 million — an eye-opening increase of more than 40 percent year over year.
Not to be left out of the picture, Caesars enjoyed a similar spike in revenue. The NJ online casino and its sister sites hit just over $4.4 million this March compared to last year’s $3.1 million. Borgata was up 5.3 percent from March 2017 with just over $4.5 million this past month.
Not all online casinos jumped in revenue, however. Tropicana’s $3.69 million is actually a 4.4 percent decrease from last month’s totals.
How does Golden Nugget stay on top?
It was the 19th straight month that Golden Nugget was the market-leading license holder. And innovation has fueled the NJ gambling site’s rise to power.
Along with featuring brands such as Golden Nugget Online Casino, SugarHouse, and Betfair (now FanDuel), Golden Nugget Atlantic City is the market leader in total online games, surpassing 500 in early March.
It also launched the country’s first real-money live-dealer, casino-floor roulette. Essentially, online players can play roulette with those who are on the casino floor via live video stream. That just pads Golden Nugget’s already-stacked list of games.
“By bringing the casino floor to online patrons, GoldenNuggetCasino.com keeps innovating and further proving to be the online destination of choice for authentic casino players,” said Thomas Winter, senior vice president and general manager of online gaming at Golden Nugget.
Innovation and risk have been Golden Nugget’s aces in the hole. For example, the casino has made a name for itself in terms of big online payouts and jackpots. As a result, the online casino has reaped the rewards.
In January, it became the first in the history of New Jersey’s online gambling industry to surpass $7 million in revenue. So that $8.6 million from March is just icing on the cake.
Online casino vs. online poker in New Jersey
As it has in most months, online casino carried the industry in March, accounting for $23.6 million. For perspective, consider the $13 million NJ gambling sites generated in March 2016.
Poker, however, accounted for $1.97 million, which is a far cry from its heyday in 2013 and comes after a $250,000-plus drop-off from last year. Yet March was the game’s best month since August 2017 — the last time poker exceeded $2 million.
Online poker got some good news this week. It was announced that a liquidity sharing agreement between New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware will allow players from the three states to compete against one another. According to Online Poker Report, the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) will be run first through WSOP NJ and 888 Poker NJ sites beginning May 1.
That agreement should drive up traffic in New Jersey. Currently, the 888-WSOP.com network averages 110 cash game players and boasts as many as 250 players during its peak. The MSIGA could result in average traffic reaching at least 250 players while visitation peaks at more than 500 players.
What will the future hold?
Record revenue in New Jersey online gambling is seemingly no longer a surprise but an expectation.
But how will the additions of Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino’s gambling sites affect the status quo? Hard Rock AC and Ocean Resort are expected to launch online casinos in New Jersey later this year.
As the buildup toward the summer openings of both high-profile casinos reaches a crescendo, there has been some speculation as to how their presence will impact overall revenue.
The common example has been to imagine revenue as a pie. Will the slices of earnings be smaller for each casino, or will the pie increase in size because the two incoming casinos create even more demand?
Only time will tell how the two new NJ gambling sites will affect the current revenue landscape. But with how things are looking for online gambling in NJ right now, two new casinos might just be more of a good thing.