For the third straight month, online casinos in New Jersey set an industry record for overall gross revenue.

And NJ online gambling ended 2018 with an exclamation point.

Five of seven license holders enjoyed upticks in monthly revenue from online casinos in December.

As a result, and led by a jaw-dropping $10 million month by Golden Nugget, online gambling in the Garden State generated just over $29 million in revenue.

For perspective, no other month in the five-year history of online gaming in New Jersey eclipsed $27 million. Until now.

No holding back Golden Nugget

What would a New Jersey online gambling revenue report be without Golden Nugget?

Even without the casino setting records?

It was only October when Golden Nugget reached $9.6 million, then an industry record, leading some to wonder not IF the casino would reach $10 million but HOW SOON.

It turns out, within two months.

The industry powerhouse enjoyed a $970,000 jump month-to-month, the largest leap among NJ operators in December. Such an increase allowed Golden Nugget to finally break through the $10 million barrier.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, the online casino’s $10,178,563 last month reflected a 67.2 percent year-over-year increase.

Golden Nugget, though, was not the only one to end the year on a positive note.

NJ online gambling operators climbing

During the last year, only Golden Nugget posted a bigger revenue jump than Resorts Atlantic City.

With $4,353,648 in December, though only fourth-most among license holders, Resorts reported a 36 percent increase from 2017. Additionally, only Golden Nugget enjoyed a bigger month-to-month boost than Resorts, which was $780,000 up from its November total.

Ahead of Resorts in December, both Borgata and Caesars upped their totals from the previous month, ending December at $5,052,051 and $4,440,510, respectively.

Tropicana reported a slight dip in December, going from $3.3 million in November to $3.2 million last month.

Hard Rock AC up, Ocean Resort down

No other online casino in New Jersey has followed the trend of Hard Rock Atlantic City since the platform launched in June.

While Hard Rock is not nearly in the same stratosphere as Golden Nugget — or even Borgata, Caesars, Resorts or Tropicana — the new kid on the block has reported increased revenues in each of the seven months it has been operational.

In December, Hard Rock turned in $1,322,747 in revenue. While only about $8,000 up from its November total, Hard Rock has watched its revenue steadily climb heading into 2019.

On the flip side, Ocean Resort Casino seems to have hit a speed bump or two.

Launched in July, the other of Atlantic City’s two new online casinos peaked at just over $1 million in October. Since, though, Ocean Resort has dropped off, to $731,887 in November and $478,717 last month.

Ocean Resort was the only other platform, along with Caesars, to have revenue decrease month-to-month, down more than $250,000 from November.

Online poker makes a year-end jump

Online casino games will grab most of the spotlight. But online poker in New Jersey should not be ignored.

While still below the average the market enjoyed for some four years heading into 2018, poker in December accounted for $1,764,562, reflecting a $202,923 upturn from November — the largest month-to-month growth of the calendar year.

Year-over-year, poker is still down 8.9 percent, but capping 2018 on a relatively strong month is uplifting.

Though it seems poker still cannot keep pace with the rapid growth of other online casino games.

NJ online gambling continuing to rise

With 2018 coming to a close, so, too, did a landmark year in New Jersey gaming.

As noted, NJ online casinos have continuously reached unprecedented heights. And the industry appears to still be on the rise.

Of course, NJ sports betting also kicked into gear last year. And in December, with $319.2 million in accepted wagers, the state eclipsed $1.2 billion in handle in just seven months of operations.

Grant Lucas

About

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.