New Jersey’s July Online Gaming Numbers Improve from June
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released the state’s monthly gambling financial figures and for once, there was actually a bit of a positive trend for online gaming.
Total internet gaming “win” for July 2015 was $12.5 million, about 20 times less than land-based casino win, but a very healthy 24.4 percent higher than the number for July 2014. That was mostly thanks to casino games – games customers play against the house like blackjack, slots, or craps – which brought in $10.65 million in gaming win, 34.4 percent more than during the same month last year. As usual online poker lagged behind, generating just $1.89 million in revenue, a 12.2 percent decrease from June 2014.
All of those numbers, though, were higher than last month which is certainly not a bad sign. Poker was up very slightly from $1.8 million, casino gaming win increased from $9.8 million, a boost of almost 9 percent, and overall internet gambling win rose 6.8 percent from $11.7 million.
Both overall gaming win and casino win also showed greater increases year-over-year in July than they did in June. Online poker did worse year-over-year than it did in June.
On an individual company basis, there were just two competitors in the New Jersey internet poker market: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Caesars Interactive Entertainment (Caesars owns multiple brick-and-mortar casinos in Atlantic City). The Borgata is the market leader with $999,322 in online poker win for July 2015 from BorgataPoker.com and NJ.PartyPoker.com. That represents a 5 percent increase from last month. Borgata’s total internet win – it also operates PalaCasino.com and BorgataCasino.com – was $3,831,064, an 8 percent increase over June.
Caesars operates 888.com and WSOP.com and brought in $888,363 from online poker in July. In June, that number was 884,669, so poker win was essentially flat. Overall internet gaming win, which included casino games from CaesarsCasino.com and HarrahsCasino.com, as well, was $2,673,003 in July 2015 compared to $2,635,125 for June, so again, pretty much flat.
Caesars was also the only online gaming operator in New Jersey to have less internet gaming win in July 2015 than it did in 2014. It wasn’t a gigantic decline – just 1.6 percent – but it was a decline nonetheless.
The biggest winner year-over-year was Golden Nugget, which saw its revenue skyrocket 188.6 percent to $2,726,399. To be fair, though, it added Betfair.com in November 2014 after the Trump Plaza, Betfair’s former partner, closed.
Tropicana also did quite well for itself, seeing a 39.7 percent increase in online gaming win from July 2014 to July 2015. Its $2,743,209 gaming win, all in casino games as it does not have an online poker room, was a 7.1 percent increase over last month. It is also a testament to how much bigger casino games are than poker. The Borgata would seem to be a more recognizable New Jersey brand than the Tropicana, yet the two (and the Golden Nugget for that matter) are nearly tied in internet casino gaming win.
New Jersey still a completely ring-fenced market, as it has yet to join Nevada and Delaware in any sort of cross-border alliance. In February 2014, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed the “Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement,”(MSIGA), permitting the state’s online poker rooms to pool liquidity. It has not extended to other forms of internet gambling yet, simply because Nevada only allows internet poker, not online casino gaming. MSIGA does provide for the sharing of liquidity for other internet gambling, but only between states that permit the same types of games.
It took a while, but the fruits of MSIGA finally went live in March 2015, when Nevada and Delaware’s online poker player pools were shared. As such, players on Nevada’s WSOP.com and Delaware’s three racetrack-based internet poker rooms play on a single network. Because of the diminutive size of Delaware’s poker population, the deal has not done a whole lot for Nevada, but it has helped Delaware’s poker traffic immensely. 888, which provides the software for the four poker rooms, has plans to expand its Nevada offerings with a new online poker rooms for the Treasure Island casino and a new 888-branded room in Nevada. The idea is to then link those up with WSOP.com and the Delaware sites to formally launch the All American Poker Network (AAPN).
A catalyst for the AAPN could be the potential purchase of bwin.party by 888 Holdings. If 888 were to win the bidding war (right now, 888’s bid has been accepted, but competitor GVC Holdings has come in with a more lucrative proposal), it would have a monopoly in New Jersey, pending PokerStars’ entry. It already operates Caesars’ WSOP/888 network and would then also handle the Party Borgata Network once partypoker is under 888’s control. Should all that happen, it could (and this is just me talking) open the doors for New Jersey to join up with Delaware and New Jersey and create a three-state AAPN.