The most recent revenue numbers from New Jersey showed a strong month of results in the poker vertical, with the biggest revenue month across the three operators in a full year.
While the 2021 numbers for July are about two-thirds the level of 2020, it is worth remembering that July 2020 was a unique year with unprecedented revenues.
Overall, the NJ market posted a respectable $3,072,756 in total revenue, which is the biggest revenue month for the state since July of last year, when the market swelled to more than $4.8 million. July 2020 was the second biggest month in history for Garden state revenue, trailing only April 2020’s stunning month of nearly $5.15 million. That puts July 2021 as the fourth best month in New Jersey online poker history.
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It is hardly a surprise that revenue numbers are down year-over-year. The period of March through July of 2020 was unique in modern history as a result of the unprecedented pandemic lockdowns. It ended up as a perfect storm for online gaming operators who reaped the rewards of people locked inside their houses with nothing to do.
It was always unrealistic to expect 2021 to retain the numbers of 2020, and in fact, the gaming industry may never again see the heights of the 2020 gold rush. When the atypical spring and summer 2020 is removed from the numbers, July 2021 becomes one of the best months in the history of the jurisdiction.
Bracelet Boost for Caesars Entertainment
It is no surprise that Caesars Entertainment, whose license in the NJ online poker market is used by WSOP and 888poker brands, saw a huge month of revenue in July. The 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) kicked off on July 1 in the online market of New Jersey, sending bracelet hunters to Caesars brands for their poker fix.
The Bracelet festival in New Jersey, which generated around $18 million in prizes on more than 27,000 entries, drove the fourth biggest month in history for the Caesars brands, with more than $1.7 million in revenue. All better revenue months came during the unique pandemic bump period of 2020, which puts July 2021 as the biggest revenue month for Caesars ever outside of the pandemic.
The WSOP/888poker US Network is also crushing the cash game statistics in New Jersey. Over the past 180 days, cash game traffic at the Caesars online properties has consistently been higher than its two competitors combined.
Data provided by GameIntel
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Partypoker US Network Is Good in Battle for Second
Beyond the clear success of the Caesars brands, the other strong performer in the market was the Borgata and BetMGM brands operating with partypoker software. Borgata has been posting the second best revenue since the end of 2020, leaving the partnership of Resorts International and PokerStars to bring up the rear in the market.
December 2020 showed a clear shift in the market as the Borgata brands reversed the trend in the market that began when PokerStars entered the market in May of 2016. PokerStars was ahead of Borgata when it entered the market, but since December, Borgata Poker NJ, BetMGM Poker NJ, and partypoker NJ have held a revenue lead over the Resorts brand, and that lead continued into July 2021.
With the dominance of the Caesars properties, the battle in the New Jersey market at the moment is really for second place. Neither of the other operators shows any signs of challenging the top dog, WSOP and Caesars, but the battle for second is much closer.
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Resorts closed the gap a bit in July. In June 2021 it was almost $150,000 short of Borgata’s numbers, while in July it was only about $115,000 short of its rival. Resorts came closest to dethroning Borgata for second in May, when it came within about $50,000, but that is the closest it has been to second place in 2021.
There is little question that the dominant force in New Jersey is Caesars. PokerStars did have the highest revenue by a hair in April of 2020, but they dropped to second through the pandemic, and then into third in December of 2020.
Caesars has maintained its solid lead since May 2020, and shows no sign of giving the top spot up. The interesting battle for second is still ongoing, but for now, Borgata seems to have a lock on the second place spot.