Figures released Thursday by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) show total online revenue hit $17m in April, up nearly 34% from the same month last year and $1.5m more than the DGE reported in March 2016. April’s total marks a new revenue benchmark, the fourth straight month of record-setting totals in 2016.
As usual, the casino vertical claimed the lion’s share ($14.4m) of the total, rising 34.4% from April 2015. But the first full month’s activity by Pokerstarsnj.com pushed online poker revenue up 30.4% to $2.6m. The sequential gain was more modest, up only around $150k from March, during which Stars was only operational for 10 days.
Stars is partnered with Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel, and the Resorts Digital Gaming partnership reported total online revenue of just under $3.5m in April, nearly twice the sum reported in March. Resorts’ casino revenue was $2.3m, around $1m more than in March, while poker revenue doubled to $1.18m.
Stars’ poker total easily eclipsed previous frontrunner the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, whose online operations include (for the moment) GVC Holdings’ PartyPoker brand. The Borgata sites earned a total of just under $4m, with casino games claiming around $3.2m (flat month-to-month) and poker adding $745k (down around 25%).
Stars also dealt a blow to Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s poker sites, which include WSOP.com and 888.com. CIE New Jersey’s poker revenue fell one-fifth from March’s total to $664k, while casino revenue improved nearly 9% to $2.5m.
As for the state’s two licensed casino-only sites, the Golden Nugget reported revenue of $3.3m (+10% from March) while the Tropicana earned $3.05m (-4%).
PokerStars’ strong showing in New Jersey will give Amaya execs something to crow about when they discuss their Q1 earnings report this coming Monday (16), having succeeded in both growing the poker market and topping its competitors. However, it remains to be seen how long Stars will be staying in New Jersey, given the DGE’s stated position regarding its licensees’ activity in so-called ‘grey’ markets and the subsequent declarations of governments in Australia and Russia that appear to put PokerStars on the wrong side of the law. Again.