NJ Online Gambling Booms In December, Nearly Hitting $100 Million

Dreamstime/Nuthawut Somsuk

New Jersey’s online gambling sites came very close to hitting an important milestone in December. Together, they were on course to break into the nine figures for monthly revenue for the first time. Ultimately, they came up just short, but should cross the $100 million mark in the not-too-distant future, perhaps even this month.

As it was, the actual total came up to $99.5 million. That’s an increase of 8.4% over November’s total, though December did benefit from being a longer month. Taking the extra day into account, the increase in average daily revenue was a more modest 4.9%.

Either way, it’s an improvement over the speed of growth the market has seen recently. For much of the latter half of 2020, monthly increases of around 3% to 4% were more typical. December’s gains also pushed iGaming’s annual growth figure north of 100%, where it had been most of the year until November.

Sports betting revenue also showed a significant increase in December, while retail casino revenue held close to even. Despite the casinos continuing to have a rough time, growth for sports betting and online gambling were sufficient to create a year-on-year increase in the grand total, at $313 million versus $287 million in December 2019.

Data comes from the latest report published by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.

NJ online gambling highlights: December 2020

Here’s the dollar breakdown for NJ online gambling in December:

  • Combined revenue for online casinos and poker in December amounted to $99,450,065up from $91,827,190 and a new monthly record.
  • Daily average revenue was up to $3,208,067, marking the fifth consecutive month of growth by this metric.
  • Online casinos rebounded after a weak November. They pulled in $96,430,012, an increase of almost exactly $7 million.
  • Online poker rooms also had a good month, generating $3,020,053 in revenue compared to $2,396,617 in November.

Although small in dollar terms, a month of gains for New Jersey online poker represents the most significant win for the state in qualitative terms. Poker revenues had been on the decline since the WSOP Online Bracelet Series over the summer. December was the first positive month since July, and $3.02 million the highest monthly total since August.

Online casinos, of course, were responsible for the bulk of the gains. Much of that came from the top two licensees, who continue to fight for market leadership.

Golden Nugget remains the top dog for now, having added 13.1% to its online casino revenue and closing in on the $30 million mark. Despite that impressive performance, it failed to put any distance between itself and Borgata. The latter is home to BetMGM, probably the biggest individual site in the state. Its casino revenue shot up 14.8%, closing the gap with Golden Nugget to just 12.8%. Factoring in poker revenue, which Borgata has but Golden Nugget lacks, the difference is just 8.4%.

Other licensees, for the most part, saw more modest gains. Caesars was another good performer, up 22.6% for poker, 8.6% for casino and 10.3% overall. Conversely, Hard Rock had the worst month of the lot. It has experienced considerable volatility of late and was down 7.5% in December after a strong showing in November.

More detailed numbers for individual operator performance are available in a table at the bottom of this article.

NJ online gambling revenue breakdown

Revenue / ∆ Monthly (normalized) / ∆ Yearly:

  • Total: $99.45 million / +4.8% / +101.6%
  • Online casinos: $96.43 million / +4.4% / +102.6%
  • Online poker: $3.02 million / +22.0% / +74.1%

New Jersey poker sites didn’t just rebound in December, they surged. Borgata in particular had a great month, up 53% and exceeding $1 million in monthly revenue for the first time since May. This comes from a set of networked skins, including Partypoker and BetMGM Poker, the latter of which has just taken on a new Poker Operations Games Manager in preparation for its launch in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

All three poker operators shared in the gains, however. WSOP (using the Caesars’ license) increased its revenue 23%, and PokerStars (using Resorts’ license) was up 5%.

Online casinos increased their daily average revenue by 4.4% and their monthly total by 7.8%. That makes December the best month for the casino vertical since April, which was of course the first full month of the retail casino shutdown.

NJ online sports betting revenue

  • Total NJ sports betting: $66.4 million
  • Online sports betting: $58.7 million

December was yet another very good month for NJ online sports betting. Total revenue shot up to $66.4 million, from just $50.6 million in November. The gains were reflected in both channels, with retail gaining 12% and online up 34%.

Handle was another near-miss for hitting a major milestone. All operators and channels combined to pull in $996,300,794 in bets, tantalizingly close to a nice, round billion.

That’s an increase of just under 7% in betting activity, a less exciting number than the revenue total. This is because hold rose to 6.7%, from 5.4% in November, as bettors had a less lucky month. The good news here is that December’s hold was very close to the average for 2020, which was 6.8%, making it more likely that the revenue gains can be sustained.

Market share didn’t change very much for most operators. Meadowlands Racetrack remains the market leader, and increased its share by 1% after several months of decline. Taking both retail and online into account, it holds almost exactly half the market.

Borgata was once again the big success story here, more than tripling its share of the online market and pulling into third place overall, behind Meadowlands and Resorts.

You can get more details about New Jersey’s skyrocketing sports handle over at Legal Sports Report.

Detailed numbers by operator/product

  Dec-20 Nov-20 Monthly Chg. Dec-19 Yearly Chg.
Poker $1,071,071 $701,546 52.67% $454,962 135.42%
Casino $26,086,630 $22,723,648 14.80% $8,776,643 197.23%
Total $27,157,701 $23,425,194 15.93% $9,231,605 194.18%
Poker $1,174,943 $958,481 22.58% $709,427 65.62%
Casino $7,728,293 $7,114,307 8.63% $3,758,401 105.63%
Total $8,903,236 $8,072,788 10.29% $4,467,828 99.27%
Golden Nugget
Poker $0 $0 $0
Casino $29,438,736 $26,029,377 13.10% $17,292,907 70.24%
Total $29,438,736 $26,029,377 13.10% $17,292,907 70.24%
Hard Rock
Poker $0 $0 $0
Casino $5,801,008 $6,270,818 -7.49% $2,218,352 161.50%
Total $5,801,008 $6,270,818 -7.49% $2,218,352 161.50%
Ocean Resort
Poker $0 $0 $0
Casino $1,132,680 $947,723 19.52% $102,637 1003.58%
Total $1,132,680 $947,723 19.52% $102,637 1003.58%
Poker $774,039 $736,590 5.08% $570,425 35.70%
Casino $20,244,839 $20,234,928 0.05% $11,378,070 77.93%
Total $21,018,878 $20,971,518 0.23% $11,948,495 75.91%
Poker $0 $0 $0
Casino $5,997,826 $6,109,772 -1.83% $4,066,133 47.51%
Total $5,997,826 $6,109,772 -1.83% $4,066,133 47.51%
All Licensees
Poker $3,020,053 $2,396,617 26.01% $1,734,814 74.09%
Casino $96,430,012 $89,430,573 7.83% $47,593,143 102.61%
Total $99,450,065 $91,827,190 8.30% $49,327,957 101.61%

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