[toc]If there was any doubt about online gambling before New Jersey released its February casino revenue figures, they should be gone now.
The NJ online gambling industry (poker and casino combined) has generated more than half a billion dollars in revenue since it launched in late 2013. According to Online Poker Report, the exact figure is $514,863,214.
A closer look at New Jersey online gambling in February
Online gambling drove a good month for Atlantic City casinos.
Online gambling revenue clocked in at $18.7 million in February. That’s an increase of about 27 percent when compared to February of last year, or an increase of just under $4 million, year over year.
Meanwhile, total gaming win across online and land-based casinos came in at $205.4 million, up just .3 percent. That may not seem like much, but New Jersey gaming revenue had been shrinking year over year for some time, before recent months.
Also, NJ online casinos were the difference between a month in which gaming revenue increased or decreased, according to the Associated Press:
But without the extra money won from online gamblers, the casinos would have posted a decrease of nearly 2 percent.
Winners and losers in NJ online, land-based casinos
The remaining, open casinos appeared to have continued to benefit from the Trump Taj Mahal closing. Revenue for current casino operators — the Taj excluded — increased 4.9 percent to $186.6 million for the month compared to last February.
On the online side of things, Golden Nugget continued to put on quite a show. It generated nearly $5.2 million in February, an increase of 66 percent — or more than $2 million — year over year. Resorts — which has PokerStars under its umbrella — also saw a huge increase. Some of that was because PokerStars was not operational this time last year. But some came on the online casino side as well.
Golden Nugget was one of the winners for land-based gaming, up five percent to $16.4 million. That year-over-year growth was outpaced by both Tropicana (up 28 percent to $28.3 million) and Resorts (up 21 percent to $15.1 million).
It was a disappointing month for MGM’s Borgata, which was flat on the land-based and down 11 percent with its online offering. It still had just under a third of the market, however.
Big month comes as PA eyes online gambling
In the meantime, will Pennsylvania join New Jersey in the online poker and gambling business, based on these figures?
The PA state legislature held a joint hearing on the topic as lawmakers in the state consider whether to legalize and regulate online gambling. Several operators in New Jersey — including Caesars Casino and Golden Nugget — testified that online gambling does not cannibalize land-based revenue, and in fact, it helps it.
In testimony submitted to a joint Pennsylvania House and Senate hearing, Caesars’ SVP of Government Relations David Satz offered a single number that speaks to the potential of regulated online gambling to support land-based casinos: 80%.
That’s the percentage, according to Satz, of online signups at Caesars’ online casino that were not existing customers in the company’s nationwide Total Rewards database.
And from Rush Street Gaming — which runs SugarHouse Casino — on Golden Nugget establishing new players:
The over 3 years of operating experience of SugarHouse’s online gaming partner in New Jersey, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, provides validating data on this point. Specifically, for the first 35 months since Golden Nugget launched its online casino in NJ, only 8% of its online players were active at the Golden Nugget in the 12 months prior to online sign-up.