New Jersey’s iPoker Market Enjoys Slight 1.2% Lift in June

NJ's Gambling Market Lifted by Sports and iPoker Liquidity in June

New Jersey’s online gambling market generated $22.7 million in June, representing a 12.1% year-on-year increase, according to the latest revenue results released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Revenue (DGE). From that tally, online casinos continued to do the heavy lifting, with its revenue rising by 13.1% to $20.9 million, while online poker noted a slight 1.2% improvement to $1.757 million, which is even less impressive when one considers the $1.735 million taken in June 2017 marked an all-time low for the state.

For the first half of 2018, the Garden State’s online gambling market is higher by almost 15% at $139.5 million, versus the same six month period in 2017, with the casino vertical up by an impressive 18% to $128.4 million. Poker, on the other hand, is still a matter of concern for operators, with revenues currently lower by 11.5% at just $11.1 million.

Shared Liquidity Agreement

In June, online poker recorded its first revenue increase in over a year, indicating that the recent shared liquidity agreement with Nevada and Delaware may have started to bear fruit, albeit small ones. Nevertheless, the $1.757 million generated was less than the $1.9 million collected in May, suggesting that the shared interstate liquidity pool in its present form is producing only a negligible impact.

After all, Caesars, which runs 888 Poker and WSOP.com sites, is the state’s only operator able to benefit from the compact, as reflected in its poker revenue soaring by a massive 73% to $814,929 compared to the same month last year. While WSOP.com has become the market leader since the agreement was launched in May, PokerStars and Borgata, on the other hand, have seen their own numbers decline, with the $564,891 and $378,019 they collected respectively during June representing their worst months to date.

Furthermore, the slight 1.2% revenue improvement noted in the online poker market as a whole was tiny, especially considering the amount of promotional activity that took place on 888 sites during the month. This included running its flagship $3 million guaranteed Online Championships, that had previously run separately in New Jersey and Nevada.

June 2018 Total (Poker/Casino)

Leading New Jersey’s online gambling market in June was the Golden Nugget, whose online casino operation produced a whopping $8,369,746 in revenue. A long way back in second place was Borgata on $4,030,295, of which 90% was accounted for by its online casino vertical, followed by Tropicana ($3,609,150), Resorts ($3,357,002), and Caesars($3,312,332).

Land Casino Market Up 7.3%

Including land-based revenues, New Jersey’s gambling market generated a total of $233.6 million in June, or 7.3% more than the $217.7 million collected in the same month last year. Encouragingly, this marks just the second time that the state‚Äôs monthly gambling revenues have increased in 2018, with optimists hoping that may in turn point towards an overall revival for Atlantic City’s casino market.

The Ocean Resort and Hard Rock casinos both opened for business on June 28th, and generated a combined $7.2 million in revenue during their first four days, or an average of $897,000 per day, compared to an average of $954,000 for Atlantic City’s seven other casinos. That said, Moody’s Investors Service has warned that instead of growing the market, these new venues may ultimately take business away from their competitors, stating:

“The possibility, however, that one or more of the new casinos will cannibalize existing sales is substantial and could lead to further casino closures in an extreme scenario.”

Sports Betting

New Jersey’s gambling industry also stands to benefit from its nascent sports betting market, which thus far consists of just the Borgata and Ocean Resort casinos, and the Monmouth Park racetrack. During the first two weeks of legal sports betting, $16.4 million in wagers were placed at these venues, increasing their revenues by an additional $3.5 million, and resulting in a $300,000 tax revenue windfall for the state.

Accounting for the lion’s share of revenues was Monmouth Park ($2.3m), followed by the Borgata ($986,831), and Ocean Resort ($192,671), with both casinos having only offered sports betting during the last two days of the month.