So how are things doing in the New Jersey online gambling market?
I would say ‘fair to middling’ is about right.
But as the 1980s UK pop princess Yazz used to bellow from the top of her lungs, “The only way is up,” after Gov. Chris Christie’s expectations of a $180m tax windfall gave everybody completely unrealistic expectations.
But things are starting to head in the right direction.
Until July’s online gambling revenue figures were released, the state had experienced three months of downward spiral after revenue peaked at $11.9m in March.
That’s since changed.
In July, the six New Jersey online gambling partnerships managed to earn $10.1m in revenue – $600,000 more than in June – but still the second lowest tally since action began at the beginning of the year.
Taking a knife to that $10.1m reveals that $7.9m (+5%) of it was taken from the online casino games, and $2.2m (+10%) of it came from the virtual poker tables. Total online accounts increased nicely with a 7.1% rise to 405,000.
The ‘Hart Foundation’ of Atlantic City continues to be the Borgata/Bwin.party tag team, whilst ‘The Bushwhackers’ are the Trump Taj Mahal/Ultimate Gaming effort.
Borgata/Bwin.party saw their earnings come in at just under $3.2m (-8.5%), with $2.1m (-12.5%) coming from the casino arm, and $1.1m (+3%) coming from poker.
August is expected to be another lull, with players tanning those pasty white bedroom bodies on the beaches, but Borgata/Bwin.party are expected to bounce back in a big way in Sept., with the launch of their inaugural Garden State Super Series (GSSS). The promise of $1m in guarantees, at the same time the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open is running, is sure to bring in the numbers.
Gaining market share was Caesars Interactive New Jersey. July revenue numbers saw a $2.7m spike in total revenue (+4%), with $1.7m (+3%) coming from the casino business and $1m (+6%) coming from poker. + signs all round for the WSOP.com team.
The Tropicana/Gamesys online casino only product continues to shine in third with a smidgen under $2m (+13%) going into the coffers, and then you have the casino only Golden Nugget option with $945k (+25%), Trump Plaza/Betfair with $676k earned through casino (+35%) and just a single dollar earned through poker!
Finally, you have Trump Taj Mahal/Ultimate Gaming earnings at $587k (+18%) and the vast majority of that revenue came from the casino tables, with the poker outlet earning just $26k.
Six partnerships are soon to be eight, according to NJPokerOnline’s Jennifer Newell, who reported that the Amaya Gaming owned PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker would be wading into the playground of NJ poker sites on Oct 1st. She later retracted that statement but it’s widely assumed that the big guns will come out sometime during Q4.
Equity Poker and Gear Poker Divorce
One outfit that is not providing any revenue numbers to the New Jersey balance sheet is the Equity Poker Network (EPN). The network opened a real money poker offering back in Nov 2013, but left the regulated online poker markets created in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware back in May.
Not that the changes have done any harm to the EPN. According to the data-tracking site PokerScout, the cash game traffic on the EPN hit their highest level in Aug. since the inception back in Nov.
Great news, but one skin that won’t be breaking open the champagne is Gear Poker, who have agreed to part ways with their landlords with immediate effect.
Gear Poker were one of the original five skins after emigrating from the Chico Poker Network back in Nov., but has left citing a realization that both outfits had ‘different ways of doing business.’
An EPN spokesperson confirmed that Gear Poker funds are safe, secure and will be returned to players, and players will be informed once Gear Poker finds a new home.
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