New Jersey legalised online gambling around four years ago. This decision has proven to be very beneficial to the state’s flagging casino industry. Atlantic City has long been the epicentre of the gambling industry. And not only because it is of the Garden State, but also because of the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, it has been suffering a steady decline over the past decade.
Falling revenues have put the brakes on expansions, and five properties have closed down since 2013. The Trump Taj Mahal, an iconic property on the Boardwalk, also shut down in late 2016. The land based gambling industry had clearly become oversaturated. The closure of big casinos will definitely help the remaining ones stay in business.
Online Gambling Revenues Increase in 2016
Industry watchers were, therefore, glad to note an increase in 2016’s revenues over the previous year. However, what is interesting about this revenue increase is that it was brought about the internet gambling. 2017 has seen a number of newcomers trying to make their presence felt in the online gambling industry. Some of them have had more success than the others. Prospective investors will, therefore, need to do a bit of research to find out which online casino operators are growing the fastest.
New Jersey permits online casinos to operate here. But the condition is that they need to be associated with a land-based casino that is licensed to operate in the state. Borgata has links to PartyPoker, Pala and a Borgata gaming site. The Golden Nugget is associated with Betfair, SugarHouse, and a Golden Nugget gaming site. Similarly, Caesars Interactive is associated with Caesars, 888, World Series of Poker and Harrah’s sites. However, Bally’s is the only land-based casino in New Jersey that hasn’t launched a branded gambling site as of now.
New Jersey’s Online Gambling Performance in 2017
New Jersey’s 2017 performance is already looking good. The combined revenues of January and February already exceeding 2016’s initial two months’ performance by 3.9%. The $410 million that has been generated during this period has come mainly from land-based gambling ($372.5 million). But online gambling showed a whopping 27.8% growth to touch $37.5 million. This has mostly been brought about by the inclusion of Amaya’s PokerStars to the online portfolio of Resorts. PokerStars alone brought in gaming wins of $6.2 million during January and February.
MGM Resorts’ Borgata has been the undisputed leader in the state’s gambling industry so far. The casino raked in a total gaming win of $126.3 million. This was a 5.6% climb over its win of 2015. In comparison, Tropicana came a poor second with a total gaming win of $58.9 million. However, Borgata hasn’t been particularly successful in its online gambling endeavours. This will definitely have an impact on the company’s overall revenues in the long term.
Online Gambling Becomes a Gamechanger
Borgata’s online gambling revenues have dropped from $8.8 million in 2016 YTD to $7.51 million, a substantial reduction of 14.7%. Caesars also generated $7.5 million during the same period, but this was a 20.4% increase from 2016’s $6.3 million.
The Golden Nugget surprised everyone with a huge 77% increase in internet gaming win. It went up to $10 million from 2016’s $5.6 million. While the casino did launch SugarHouse last year, it managed this impressive feat without offering a peer-to-peer poker product. The operator had entered into a deal with Amaya in 2013. The deal was to launch online poker in the state, but the site did not materialise.
It will be interesting to see which company reaches the top position in the New Jersey online gambling industry. This is because it is unlikely that the Golden Nugget will be able to maintain its momentum. The resorts is likely to head upwards. It will build upon its $6.2 million YTD revenues. PokerStars is sure to have many promotional offers to celebrate its one-year anniversary in the state.