The table below shows which New Jersey online casinos have generated the most revenue since the market launched in late 2013.
Note that some casinos – including the Golden Nugget – do not offer poker, only casino games. The numbers below reflect revenue through September 2016.
- Poker Revenue
- Casino Revenue
- Total Revenue
Visit Borgata Casino
- Poker Revenue$38,244,016
- Casino Revenue$94,971,438
- Total Revenue$133,215,454
Visit Caesars Casino
- Poker Revenue$32,530,057
- Casino Revenue$66,970,367
- Total Revenue$99,500,424
- Poker Revenue$0
- Casino Revenue$87,057,767
- Total Revenue$87,057,767
Visit Golden Nugget
- Poker Revenue$0
- Casino Revenue$83,284,502
- Total Revenue$83,284,502
Visit Resorts Casino
- Poker Revenue$7,082,352
- Casino Revenue$32,192,034
- Total Revenue$39,274,386
How has NJ online gambling revenue evolved?
In the months immediately following the November 2013 launch of regulated online gambling in NJ, online poker comprised a much more significant chunk of industry revenue. The narrative has since changed, with online casinos currently accounting for roughly seven-eighths of revenue, up from just over three-quarters two years ago.
The shift is as much a direct result of poker’s struggles as it is casino’s growth.
Throughout the market’s 16 months, NJ online casino revenue waxed and waned, with monthly tallies generally topping out at around $9 million. A spark was ignited in early 2015, and in March of that year, the industry posted its first $10 million month.
Since, the story has been growth begetting more growth. From October 2015 to July 2016, online casino revenue set a new monthly record eight out of a possible nine times, and as of mid-2016, the industry generates over $15 million per month.
So what prompted the surge?
- Several operators, most notably current market share leader Golden Nugget, ramped up their marketing spend.
- The market experienced vast improvements in the payment processing department. Throughout 2014 and 2015, not only did online casinos add a bevy of new depositing methods, but new online gambling codes for Visa/MasterCard transactions were introduced.
- Operators began rapidly expanding their game libraries, both on desktop and mobile.
- The launch of new online casinos, including Resorts Casino, Mohegan Sun Casino and Pala Casino, had a mostly additive impact on revenue.
On the flip side, online poker has had a difficult go of it.
As hard as it may seem to believe, there was a time when online poker regularly generated more than $3 million per month. Now, despite the launch of PokerStars in March 2016, $2 million is par for the course.
Online poker’s struggles are likely a byproduct of operating in a capped liquidity market. NJ operators are simply not able to offer the kind of game variety and tournament guarantees US players enjoyed prior to Black Friday.
What characteristics distinguish the markets top earners?
Interestingly, the industry’s top performers all bring something different to the table.
For the online casinos with the most momentum (Golden Nugget/Betfair), it’s size and variety. Golden Nugget Casino alone boasts over 300 games, including over 275 slots, 20 video poker variants, and over a dozen table and Live Dealer games. New games are introduced on what seems like a weekly basis.
Others operators compensate for their smaller game libraries with strong brand ties and integration with land-based properties. The Borgata, which has generated more online gambling revenue than any other license holder, has utilized its name to great effect. Same goes for Caesars, albeit to a lesser extent.
Finally, third place Tropicana Casino may not have the most instantly recognizable brand or boast the largest game library, but its community driven approach, combined with a creative promotional schedule and flashy software have paid dividends.
How might the picture change in the next year?
Expect burgeoning Resorts to make up significant ground on both the online casino and poker sides. It shouldn’t be enough to pull the latecomer out of the cellar in the next 12 months, but there’s a universe where its online poker revenue catches up to Borgata and Caesars within the next three years.
The Golden Nugget’s aggressive approach will likely propel it to the top of the revenue charts for months to come. We expect it to close the gap between itself and Tropicana in the next year, possibly moving as high as second place.
Borgata will retain the top spot, partially because it continues to post strong performances on the casino side, but mainly due to the fact that it’s lead is so big.