New Jersey’s online gambling market failed to maintain its record-setting pace in June, while sports betting revenue continued to rely on some questionable activities to make up its numbers.
Figures released Tuesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) show the state’s licensed online casino/poker operators generated combined revenue of $84.9m in June, a 123.1% improvement from the same month last year but around $1m below May 2020’s record $86m.
June’s online casino revenue was up 124.3% year-on-year to slightly less than $81.4m, just a whisker behind May 2020’s total. Online poker revenue effectively doubled year-on-year to $3.54m, but this was about $1m below May 2020’s figure, which was itself down from April’s record $5.15m. Alas, irrational hope of a second online poker boom, we hardly knew ye.
For the year-to-date, New Jersey’s online revenue stands at $422.7m, up 99.4% from the total generated over the first half of 2019. Online casino is up 94.7% to $402.2m while poker rose 88.9% to $20.5m.
The overall market may not have been in a record-setting mood, but the Golden Nugget’s online casino set a new individual operator record with $29.15m in June. The Nugget’s online operations were recently spun off into a publicly traded entity but Tuesday’s news didn’t appear to impress investors, as the stock is down nearly 15% at time of writing.
The rest of the top-five was unchanged in order from May, with Resorts Digital Gaming second with $17.2m ($1.23m from poker), the Borgata third with $16.9m ($914k from poker), followed by Caesars Interactive Entertainment at $8.8m ($1.39m from poker) and the Tropicana in fifth with just over $6m.
DGE-licensed sports betting operators reported revenue of $12.64m in June, up 30.3% year-on-year and around $2.75m better than May 2020. Betting handle – which remained entirely online in June due to the COVID-19 closure of Atlantic City casinos and state racetracks – totaled $165m, up from nearly $118m in May.
The Meadowlands/FanDuel tandem was June’s clear betting revenue champ with $6.05m, while runner-up combo Resorts Digital/DraftKings was well back at $3.9m. No other operator cracked the seven-figure barrier, with the Borgata’s BetMGM brand coming closest at $877k.
Last week, the DGE instructed its betting licensees to cease handling bets on Ukrainian table tennis events over match-fixing concerns. ESPN reported that the DGE was prompted to act following an alert from the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association regarding six specific players.
Table tennis proved a godsend for bookmakers around the globe following the shutdown of most major league events due to COVID-19. A recent survey by Italian operator Lottomatica showed 52% of pandemic wagering involved table tennis. Colorado’s first month of legal betting showed table tennis leading all other sports with nearly $6.6m in wagers in May, nearly four times what mixed martial arts generated the same month.
BORGATA’S BACK, BABY
With land-based revenue still dormant, June’s overall gaming revenue figure was down nearly two-thirds year-on-year to $97.55m. Casino operations finally resumed earlier this month, and Tuesday brought word that MGM Resorts’ market-leading Borgata property would hold a soft reopening on Thursday, July 23, with the full opening set to take place three days later.
The Borgata delayed its reopening after the state prohibited indoor dining and drinking, and while the state has yet to lift these restrictions, the Borg is reportedly working on a raft of outdoor options to fill this void.