New Jersey’s regulated online gambling market closed out 2016 in style, thanks in part to the Golden Nugget’s record-setting performance in the month of December.
Figures released Thursday by the Division of Gaming Enforcement show state-licensed online operators generated revenue of just under $18.4m in December, 31% higher than the state reported in December 2015 and $1m more than the state’s previous revenue record set last July.
As usual, the numbers were driven by the casino vertical, which improved 35% year-on-year to just under $16.3m while poker nudged up nearly 6% to $2.1m. For 2016 as a whole, overall online revenue was up 32% to $196.7m, with casino gaining 36% to $170.2m and poker rising 11.3% to $26.5m.
As mentioned, the Golden Nugget’s casino-only site had a December to remember, posting revenue of $4.79m, nearly $1.9m more than the Nugget’s umbrella of sites earned in December 2015. The December tally easily eclipsed the Nugget’s previous high-water mark of $4.1m set last October, and marks an all-time high for any New Jersey-licensed operator. The Nugget has now worn the state’s online revenue crown in three of the past four months.
Sites linked with Atlantic City’s Borgata casino, the state’s traditional online frontrunner, ranked second on December’s chart with revenue of $3.71m, a respectable showing but 6.5% less than the sites earned in December 2015. The Borgata’s total was barely enough to fend off a surging Caesars Interactive New Jersey, which saw its December tally rise 18% to $3.66m.
Fourth place went to Resorts Digital, whose operations include Amaya Gaming’s PokerStars brand. Resorts generated $3.14m in December, a significant improvement over December 2015’s $1.3m, reflecting the boost the operations received from PokerStars NJ’s launch in March 2016. The Tropicana’s casino-only offering generated $3.09m, a year-on-year improvement of 9.4%.
The Borgata ranked highest on the 2016 overall online revenue chart with $47m, although the Golden Nugget wasn’t far back at $42.2m. Caesars Interactive ranked third ($38.6m), followed by the Tropicana ($36.9m) and Resorts Digital ($31.7m).
New Jersey’s regulated online market may not have lived up to its supporters’ original unrealistic expectations, but the gains generated by the online casino vertical helped Atlantic City’s casino market post their first year-on-year gaming revenue increase since 2006.
The revenue increase may have been minimal (1.5%), but AC’s beleaguered market, which has seen five of 12 casinos shut their doors since 2014, will take it.