If there’s been one word to describe the US online gambling market over the last quarter, it’s “stability.” That’s even more true for New Jersey, as the country’s oldest and most mature iGaming market.
New Jersey online casinos and poker rooms grossed a total of just over $107 million in June. That’s the lowest bottom line figure they’ve posted since February, yet within 1% of each of the previous two months.
Total gaming revenue, including sports betting and retail casinos, amounted to $393 million. That’s more than quadruple the figure for June 2020, as in-person gambling was still shut down at that time due to COVID-19. Despite the gains that iGaming has made over the years and during the pandemic, the retail channel remains the biggest revenue driver in New Jersey and the US as a whole.
Data for this article comes, as always, from official reports released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
NJ online gambling revenue highlights – June 2021
The exact dollar total for June was $107,053,938, compared to $108,170,558 in May. However, June is a day shorter than May, and the daily average revenue for the market actually increased slightly, to $3,568,465 from $3,489,373.
That’s an increase of 2.3% in the daily average, almost enough to reverse a drop of 2.8% from April to May. The grand total in April was $107,749,608, a difference of less than $700,000 from June.
In other words, it looks as if the market has remained unchanged throughout Q2, save for natural random fluctuations.
Some other key figures from the month:
- Annual growth for the iGaming market was 26.1% in June, almost unchanged from 25.9% in May.
- Total gaming taxes for the month amounted to $40 million, just over $16 million of which came from online casinos and poker, while online sportsbooks contributed $8 million.
- Promotional spending increased to $8.7 million, from $7.3 million in May. Operators in New Jersey will soon be able to deduct such spending from their taxable revenue, thanks to a bill which passed on June 3.
New Jersey market analysis – by operator
Though the New Jersey market has been flat, the distribution of market share between operators has continued to shift slowly. In particular, former top dog Golden Nugget lost a lot of ground to Borgata, which overtook it in March.
Golden Nugget’s daily average casino revenue fell 8.3% in June, while Borgata’s rose 8.4%. The two are now separated by a margin of almost 22%, compared a difference of just 3% in May. That’s looking at casino only. Adding in Borgata’s poker revenue from the Partypoker US Network, it’s a 24.4% difference. Golden Nugget has no poker products on its license.
Golden Nugget’s second place position is in no immediate danger, but could become threatened by Resorts, which is catching up. It added 8.8% to its daily average casino revenue in June. Even factoring in its poker revenue from PokerStars, however, it only made a total of $22.5 million. Golden Nugget’s total was $27.6 million, so it still has a bit of breathing room.
Other facts to note about individual operators and their market share:
- Borgata now holds nearly one-third of the market at 32%. Golden Nugget’s share is just under 26%, and Resorts has 21%.
- Ocean Resort, the state’s smallest and most recently added licensee, had the best month, increasing its daily average revenue by 13%.
- Hard Rock was the only license holder other than Golden Nugget to book a loss in daily average revenue on the month, dropping 2%.
New Jersey market analysis – by vertical
Another continuing trend in the New Jersey market is the decline of online poker. NJ online poker rooms collectively saw their daily average revenue drop 5.2% in June. That’s a sharper drop than in May, but not as bad as that in April.
With a total of $2,209,374, poker accounted for just 2.06% of all iGaming revenue, an all-time low. Poker surged to a greater extent than other verticals during the early weeks of the pandemic, hitting a peak of $5.1 million in revenue and a 6.4% share of total iGaming in April last year. However, it has come down even more sharply since then.
The declining importance of online poker compared to casino gaming has been consistent since the market’s inception at the end of 2013. Poker accounted for about one-third of revenue at the very beginning, dropping to 20% by the end of 2014, and 10% by 2017.
New Jersey sports betting revenue – June 2021
By contrast, New Jersey sportsbooks had a phenomenal month, at least in revenue terms. There has been a lot going on, including the NHL and NBA playoffs, as well as international soccer tournaments in South America and Europe.
Total revenue for the month jumped to $62.2 million through online channels, plus $9.1 million from retail books, for a total of $71.3 million. Taken as a daily average, that’s an increase of 39% over May.
That was due in large part to a huge increase in hold, however. Spots betting operators managed to win 9.3 cents for every dollar wagered in the state, the highest percentage since last July. That’s compounded by the fact that last month’s hold of 6.5% was unusually low.
Handle actually dropped 5.8%. The decline was solely on the online side of things, with betting apps seeing a 7.0% reduction in daily average betting activity, while retail book actually took 5.3% more action.
July and August numbers should be much lower due to a lack of sports to bet on, before rising again in September as the NFL season begins.
For more on New Jersey sports betting, see the latest coverage at Legal Sports Report.
New Jersey online gambling revenue breakdown
Here are all the numbers for New Jersey iGaming in June, broken down by license holder and vertical.
The percentages given for monthly change are based on the daily average, accounting for June’s shorter length.
|Jun 2021||May 2021||Δ (M/M)||Jun 2020||Δ (Y/Y)|