New Jersey Sets Another Record For Online Casino Revenue
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported a record $152.9 million in online casino revenue for the month of January, as revenue from the suite of virtual casino games other than online poker cleared $150 million for the first time.
It was an overall improvement of 0.9% from the previous record of $151.5 million established in December. Online poker rake surged 24.8% to $2.7 million, the highest total since $3.1 million was collected in July 2021.
Gaming revenue across all verticals — iGaming, brick-and-mortar casinos, and sports wagering — totaled $436.9 million, a decline of 3.9% from December but also a 14.5% year-over-year improvement from the $381.7 amassed by operators to kick off 2022. Much of the month-over-month decline can be attributed to a 17.5% drop in sports betting revenue, which tumbled to $72.3 million for January. The hold slipped 1.6 percentage points to 6.7% on $1.08 billion handle.
New Jersey collected $45.4 million in tax receipts, with more than half ($22.9 million) originating from the 15% rate on iGaming revenue. The nine brick-and-mortar casinos generated $13 million in tax revenue, while sports wagering provided $9.4 million and surpassed $300 million in total tax revenue generated since launching in 2018.
Golden Nugget nearly pips Borgata for iGaming top spot
For the first time in state history, three internet casino operators — Borgata, Golden Nugget, and Resorts — surpassed $40 million each in total revenue. Borgata needed its poker rake of nearly $820,000 to extend its streak to seven straight months of $40 million-plus revenue, but it also finished 6.7% lower than December at $40.8 million.
It was the opposite at Golden Nugget, which reported a 7.4% uptick in revenue to $40.6 million, surpassing its all-time record of $38.4 million established in October. Resorts, which is partnered with both DraftKings and PokerStars, was close to flat, dipping 0.4% to $40.2 million, but its poker rake of $1.1 million was its most since July 2020 and 76.1% higher compared to December.
Tropicana had the biggest increase in terms of percentage versus December, spiking 32.5% higher to $7.8 million for its best month since May. Hard Rock also started 2023 brightly with a 13.4% increase to $6 million, the first time it reached that level since June. Ocean Casino was up 11.8% to an all-time high of $3.9 million, the fourth consecutive month with a record revenue haul.
Caesars had the biggest drop in month-over-month percentage, tumbling 13.5% to $8.3 million.
A mixed bag of brick-and-mortar results
Five of the nine casinos in Atlantic City reported month-over-month declines, with the overall revenue figure of $211.7 million off 1.8% versus December. The Borgata saw the largest drop in dollars, down $2.1 million to $58.4 million. Its revenue total was still easily the most in the state, with Hard Rock a distant second at $35.9 million, a decrease of 4.1% from the final month of 2022.
Tropicana had the biggest drop in terms of percentage, shedding 11% to $16.3 million, $2 million less than December. Its table games hold of 15.7% was more than three percentage points lower than December, and Tropicana also had 131 fewer slots in operation compared to the previous month, contributing to a 6.9% drop in slots revenue to $12.9 million.
On the plus side, Ocean Casino started 2023 by surpassing $30 million in revenue for the fifth time in seven months, with revenue increasing by more than $1 million. Bally’s was also a big mover, with revenue climbing 5.4% to $11.5 million, aided by a 5.6% boost in slots revenue on hold of 9.9%.
Retail sportsbooks struggle to open 2023
Both the sports wagering handle and revenue placed in the state’s all-time top 10, but the January handle that was 2.5% better than December was down nearly 20% compared to the record $1.35 billion that kicked off 2022. The gap in handle between New Jersey and New York more than doubled in January compared to the previous year, when the Empire State launched sports betting. New York set an all-time national post-PASPA record of $1.8 billion last month, more than $700 million ahead of New Jersey.
Had it not been for the sportsbooks at the state’s three horse racing tracks — Meadowlands, Monmouth Park, and Freehold Raceway — the month would have looked much rougher for in-person wagering. The overall hold for retail betting was 3.6% on $65.9 million wagered, but the three tracks combined for more than $3 million in revenue — compared to the $644,073 in combined losses at brick-and-mortar casino sportsbooks.
Borgata was again the loss leader as the public came out $340,000 ahead there, adding to the $3.6 million in losses for 2022. Resorts lost $212,000, and in total seven of the nine casino sportsbooks posted losses to start 2023, with only Ocean Casino and Golden Nugget coming out ahead.
The win rate for online sportsbooks was a more respectable 6.9%, with parlay revenue surpassing $50 million for the third time in four months on the strength of an 18.6% hold from $272.5 million handle. The Meadowlands umbrella, covering FanDuel, PointsBet, and SuperBook, combined to produce $45.5 million in operator winnings.
Resorts Digital, which covers DraftKings, FOX Bet, and its own online app, was a distant second at $12.7 million, while BetMGM and the Borgata’s in-house app powered that casino to the final podium spot for revenue with $7.1 million. Conversely, WynnBET and 888 combined to finish $400,000 in the red to start the year, while Sporttrade — operating its exchange through Bally Bet — posted a loss of $263,000.