New Jersey’s entrance into the online gaming market has been closely watched since its soft launch in November of last year. In the span of only a few months, the market has had its share of interesting numbers and revenue for the state. Despite being the shortest month out of the year, February has resulted in some telling online gaming figures, especially when compared to Atlantic City’s land-based operations.
Online Market Buffering Land Casino Revenues
Online gaming revenue is continuing to climb for the Garden State. Compared to January, the state had a 9 percent increase in bets made online. $10.3 million was made in February, up from the $9.5 million in January. The online market brought in $1.4 million in tax revenue for the month, an amount comparable to January and December’s numbers.
By comparison, the 11 land-based casinos in Atlantic City saw a decline. New Jersey took in $199 million in revenue this February, which is a 6 percent decline from the $212 million made in February 2013. But because of the revenue made from online gaming, the loss was offset and brought the total decline to a smaller 1.4 percent. Of the 11 Atlantic City casinos, seven have online gambling site affiliations.
Borgata Leads the Pack
Borgata’s relationship with Bwin’s partypoker came out on top as the leader for February. Combined, the two generated $4.1 million in online revenue for a 40 percent share of the market. Borgata alone posted a 14 percent gain from January with $3.1 million in online revenue, giving it a market share of 30 percent.
Borgata’s land casino is a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and an MGM Resorts International divestiture trust. Boyd Gaming President and CEO Keith Smith told media that they have made it their goal to create a first-in-class online gaming experience worthy of the Borgata brand. He also stated that he feels it is currently resonating well with players within New Jersey. Boyd Gaming expects to see further growth in the state as their product evolves online.
Caesars Interactive has continued to be a stiff competitor for Borgata, however. For the month of February, Caesars gained a 32 percent market share with over $3.3 million in revenues. Since the first full month of online gaming in December, Borgata and Caesars have been duking it out for the top spot in the highly competitive market. Tropicana Casino and Resort took third place honors, but also had a 60 percent revenue increase from January. At $1.3 million, Tropicana took 13 percent of the market.
Though the growth in February has been significant for some, both the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza saw the online market’s first losses. Trump Taj Mahal fell 46 percent from January, taking in only $587,323. Trump Plaza was a less significant drop of 12 percent with $493,590.
While the increases are decent for New Jersey’s online gaming market, they aren’t reaching the numbers many were hoping for. Governor Chris Christie originally had a budget estimate of $160 million for online gaming tax revenues through June 2014. That number has now been lowered to $34 million. February’s revenue may have shown an impressive rise, but there is still a significant way to go before expectations can be met.