Bar High For 2016 As NJ Online Casinos Finish 2015 With Best Month Ever

Last week, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced the state’s December iGaming revenue figures. New Jersey online casinos brought in an impressive $14 million in revenue to finish out the year. This total sets a new record for online gambling in the state.

While overall online casino revenue is through the roof, one specific area isn’t doing as well. Despite the state’s record-breaking month, online poker is actually down 3.65 percent for 2015. That means the entirety of the nearly forty percent increase in annual iGaming revenue was exclusively due to online casinos, and not online poker rooms.

How did each NJ casino perform?

Overall, New Jersey iGaming revenue was superb in December, showing a substantial increase in both revenue and tax dollars generated. The $14 million in total revenue equates to over $2 million in tax revenue for New Jersey.

Here’s a breakdown of total December revenue at NJ online gambling sites by operator:

PropertySitesDecember Revenue
BorgataBorgata Poker, Borgata Casino, Party Poker$3,960,648
CaesarsCaesars Casino, 888, Harrahs, WSOP$3,102,722
TropicanaTropicana Casino, Virgin Casino$2,228,383
Golden NuggetGolden Nugget Casino, Betfair$2,870,943
Resorts ACResorts Casino, Mohegan Sun$1,288,079

The December revenue leaders for both online poker and online casino combined are Borgata and Caesars. Borgata nearly reached $4 million for the second month in a row.

December online casino revenue totals by operator, excluding online poker, were as follows:

  1. Golden Nugget – $2,870,943
  2. Borgata Casino – $2,821,908
  3. Tropicana – $2,821,908
  4. Caesars – $2,228,383
  5. Resorts – $1,288,079

Potential impact of NJ casino expansion on online revenue

A casino expansion bill which would allow the opening of two casinos in northern New Jersey has recently been the topic of debate in the state legislature, although a recent compromise on the terms of the bill dramatically increased the likelihood that it will reach the November ballot.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian spoke to the Associated Press about the future of his city:

“We had a monopoly and 12 casinos. Now there are 30-something casinos in the northeast, and we’re about to have gambling in the northern part of the state. There are more gambling places than there are gamblers willing to gamble.”

The additional casinos will likely be great for New Jersey as a whole. Tax revenue will increase and new casino operators would help give the state some much-needed fresh blood. However, it is very possible that Atlantic City will suffer.

While it seems quite likely that the new properties will take visitors from places like New York away from Atlantic City, the impact that they will have on online gambling revenue is a somewhat more difficult subject to address. If the two new properties pursue the online gaming market aggressively with well-funded campaigns, some poor performers may shut their doors.

However, it’s very possible that the newcomers would choose not to stretch their reach to the internet at all, and instead focus their marketing exclusively on their brick & mortar operations in the early stages.

How will 2016 shape up for NJ online casinos?

The future of iGaming in New Jersey will probably be good for most and bad for a select few. Amaya-owned online gambling site PokerStars has partnered with Resorts Atlantic City with the plans of launching not just an online poker room, but potentially a live PokerStars-branded card room in the brick & mortar Resorts Casino itself. That means tough competition is on the way in 2016 – especially for those companies trying to hang onto their share of the less-than-thriving online poker market.

The online card rooms aren’t the only ones who need to worry about 2016. Atlantic City continues to suffer due to east coast casino expansions in nearby states. New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania have all legalized some form of gambling over the past decade, and several states are considering additional expansions.

About the Author

Rudee Rossignol

Las Vegas-based Rudee writes about a variety of topics, all surrounding regulated U.S. online gambling. A longtime poker player, she offers an on-the-ground take on Internet gaming matters.