It seems as though there is nothing that will stop the steamroller that is the New Jersey online gaming industry. After smashing records in July with their “take” – revenues from the games – the Garden State’s online gaming industry came back in August and crushed their newly set record. There remains one issue, however…the money is all coming from online casinos and sports betting, not online poker.
Breaking a New Threshold
For the first time in the history of New Jersey’s online gaming industry, monthly revenues for the online casinos eclipsed the $40 million mark. In pulling in $41,101,587 for the month of August, the seven online casinos in the New Jersey operations shattered their record from July of slightly more than $39.3 million. Along with the earnings from online poker (more on that in a minute), the grand total of more than $41.1 million continued an eight-month streak of revenues over $30 million.
Leading the way for the online casinos in Jersey was the Golden Nugget, which has no online poker operation to help draw in an audience. By pulling in $14, 986,416, the Golden Nugget was by far the biggest operator on the New Jersey scene. They were followed distantly by Resorts AC, with their $6,854,448 in revenues, and the Borgata, who racked up $6,723,342.
The striking thing about these numbers is this is supposed to be the time of the year when online gaming has a bit of a slowdown. Because most people are outdoors in the summer, rather than cooped up inside with free time, revenues used to go down between Memorial Day and Labor Day. New Jersey is flouting this convention, however.
When you add in the revenues from online sports betting, the news gets even better for New Jersey. The eight operators in New Jersey brought in an astounding $19,200,391 over the course of August, their largest take since March 2019 when they brought in $24,260,149. The only reason for March’s large revenue share can be laid at the door of the NCAA Basketball Championship tournament – “March Madness” – and it could be challenged once college and pro football get into action in the month of September.
Story for Online Poker? Flat…
Revenues for online poker in New Jersey remain unimpressive, with the status quo remaining the same. Caesars/Harrah’s/888 remains the kingpins in New Jersey’s online game – it is unknown how much the compact with Delaware and Nevada is helping or hurting the Jersey operations – bringing in $704,294 for the month of August. Resorts AC (running the PokerStars software) comes in a distant second with $593,040 and the Borgata/party offering pulls up the rear with $410,997. Total it up and the “take” for online poker in New Jersey for August was $1,708,331.
Those numbers look bleak, but a deeper look shows more problems. The August revenues were the lowest for poker since April, when the three operations involved in online poker only raked $1,667,977. Additionally, in comparing to last year’s performance, the New Jersey online poker industry has fallen 9.5% (with 2018 revenues of $1,815,820) in year-to-year comparison.
The performance of online poker in New Jersey could be an explanation for the delay in the rollout of online poker in Pennsylvania. The neighboring state sees that the online casino and sports betting business is booming in New Jersey and wants to get those operations up and running full force. The impetus to get online poker isn’t there because it just isn’t a money maker for the gaming operators in Pennsylvania to be worried about at this point.
How High Can It Go?
As the numbers spin like an online slot machine, just how high can 2019 revenues reach? With the August numbers in the books, 2019 revenues currently sit at $297.8 million. With four months to go in the 2019 calendar year, it is entirely possible – even without the revenues from online sports betting, which is tripling live sports betting in the Jersey casinos – that the revenues for 2019 will storm past $400 million. These are numbers that, when the industry came to life in 2013, were expected much sooner but aren’t going to be refused now. Since going live in 2013, the New Jersey online casino/poker industry has brought in $1.319 BILLION and paid $231,096,365 in taxes to the state’s coffers.