BUSINESS

New Jersey online gambling revenue up 5%, Tropicana eyes Borgata’s casino crown

TAGs: Mastercard, New Jersey, New Jersey Online Gambling, VISA

new-jersey-online-gambling-tropicana-gamesysNew Jersey online gambling revenue rose 5% in August, the second straight month of revenue gains after three months of declines. The Garden State’s six licensed online gambling partnerships earned a total of $10.5m in August compared to $10.1m in July. The state’s high-water mark remains the $11.9m recorded in March.

Most of August’s gains came via the online casino vertical, which generated $8.3m (+5%), while online poker was basically flat at $2.2m. For the year to date, New Jersey’s online market has generated $83.7m, three-quarters ($62.6m) of that via the casino vertical. August saw the number of registered online gambling accounts rise 6.5% to nearly 432k.

The Borgata/Bwin.party tandem once again ruled the revenue roost with $3.5m, up $300k from July. The Bwingata combo’s online poker vertical rose around $50k to $1.17m while the casino vertical rose around $200k to $2.3m. Caesars Interctive NJ revenue was unchanged at $2.7m, with $1.65m in casino and $1.06m from poker. The Tropicana/Gamesys team’s casino-only platform nudged up around $70k to $2.26m, nearly enough to dethrone Bwingata as the state’s top online casino operator.

The Golden Nugget’s casino-only offering led the bottom half of the rankings with $787k, down nearly 17% from July. The Trump Plaza/Betfair coupling reported $710k (+5%) in casino revenue and zero dollars from poker (down from $1, so that’s a 100% drop) while the Trump Taj Mahal/Ultimate Gaming pairing earned $603k (+3%), all but $23k of which came from casino.

August’s online revenue figures represent the last full month of operation before the Plaza shuts down on Sept. 16. Betfair has received assurances from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) that it can continue to operate while it canvasses AC’s remaining casinos in a bid to find a new forever home. Ultimate Gaming is facing a similar conundrum now that the Taj Majal has put its employees on notice that it will close its doors in mid-November unless it can negotiate significant concessions from its workforce.

Help may be on the way for the New Jersey operators that manage to keep their sites active. Earlier this week, Gambling Compliance writer Chris Krafcik reported that Visa, Mastercard and Discover had agreed to replace the catch-all 7995 gambling transaction code with three new merchant codes: internet gambling, internet lotteries and advance deposit wagering (ADW). One of the biggest factors cited in the slow start of New Jersey’s online gambling market has been credit card companies’ reluctance to process online gambling transactions, so any improvement on this front would be warmly welcomed by New Jersey’s online operators.

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