New Jersey’s regulated online gambling market earned $10.25m in September, down around $250k from the previous month. September’s chart marks the last in which six operators reported online earnings – at least until PokerStars arrives – following Ultimate Gaming’s decision to quit the New Jersey market mid-month due in part to the fiscal challenges of its brick-and-mortar casino partner, the Trump Taj Mahal. A similar dilemma faced Betfair, which had teamed with the now shuttered Trump Plaza but has since struck a deal with Caesars Entertainment to remain in the market.
As usual, the Bwin.party/Borgata tandem earned top spot on the online charts, generating $3.45m. This sum was basically flat from the previous month, with casino accounting for $2.29m and poker adding $1.16m. Caesars Interactive NJ was also essentially flat at $2.66m, with $1.75m from casino and $915k from poker, the latter figure down around 10% from August. The Tropicana/Gamesys pairing’s casino-only site earned $2.04m, down from August’s $2.26m, but still enough to make it the second-biggest online casino earner.
The Golden Nugget’s casino-only site was the month’s big gainer, rising from $787k in August to $1.09m in September. Betfair’s erstwhile Plaza site earned $768k, up about $60k from the previous month and all but $1 coming via the casino vertical. The Ultimate Gaming/Taj Mahal combo – now included in the ‘discontinued operators’ category – reported revenue of $229k, all but $7k from casino.
The number of registered online accounts rose to 456.5k in September, up 5.8% from August. For the year-to-date, New Jersey’s regulated online gambling market has generated $93.9m, nearly two-thirds of which ($60.7m) was earned by the Bwin.party and Caesars offerings.
In a recent interview with Bluff Magazine, Bwin.party’s group director of poker Jeffrey Haas addressed the so-far underwhelming New Jersey online market, saying his company had expected the returns to be three to four times their current size. Haas said his company deserved its share of the blame for the slow start, suggesting Bwin.party “need to do a better job in every area.”
As for the expected return of Amaya Gaming’s PokerStars brand to New Jersey’s shores, Haas suggested Stars’ hefty marketing budget would benefit all state-licensed operators, although Haas couldn’t resist a dig by suggesting Stars would get “a free ride” now that many of the new market’s kinks have been ironed out. It remains to be seen whether Stars will indeed be the tide that lifts all boats, or a tsunami that leaves lesser operators treading water.