New Jersey Online Gambling on the Rise, Poker, Not So Much

Posted on May 15th, 2017 by Alana Markoff

The New Jersey online gambling scene is on the rise thanks in no part to poker. Internet gamblers in the state helped operators generate $20.8 million in April. That amounts to 22.6-percent higher than the same month in 2016.

 New Jersey online gambling, Golden Nugget’s New Jersey online gambling casino, generated more money than any other internet casino in the state in April. (Image:

It wasn’t a record-setting month, however. In March, the revenues hit $21.7 million, the best in state history.

Golden Nugget, a casino-only site, led the way with nearly $5.4 collected. Borgata’s online casinos raked in $4.2 million last month, second best in the state.

Things could be changing on the New Jersey internet gambling landscape. Borgata, an Atlantic City-based casino, recently announced a partnership deal with GVC Holdings to launch playMGM, a betting app currently available in Las Vegas.

The pact could catapult Borgata over Golden Nugget atop the revenue chart. Tropicana ($3.94 million), Resorts Digital Gaming ($3.77 million), and Caesars Entertainment ($3.5 million), round out the April 2017 performers.

Poker Didn’t Help

The bulk of the online gambling revenue was generated from games such as blackjack and slots. Internet poker in the Garden State since the start of the year has raked in just $8.7 million. That’s a $500,000 decrease compared to the same time frame in 2016.

A $500,000 drop may not seem like much. But when considering the fact PokerStars didn’t enter New Jersey until late March last year, it becomes more disconcerting.

PokerStars is the world’s most popular online poker site. It accounts for more than 70-percent of the global market. When Amaya Inc. brought its prized possession to New Jersey, many felt the Garden State poker industry would skyrocket. That hasn’t been the case. The numbers don’t lie.

Last month, online poker accounted for only $1.97 million of the gambling revenue. That’s good for a 23.9 percent drop compared to April 2016 ($2.6 million).

Online Gambling Good for Business?

As more states are pondering legalizing online gambling, New Jersey is one example lawmakers are looking at. Since internet casinos began popping up in the Garden State, brick-and-mortar casinos have benefited.

Casinos have found that new customers are first becoming interested in poker and other forms of gambling online. Studies also show those who gamble online don’t avoid heading to a local casino to get some action.

Live poker rooms across the United States saw a significant drop in attendance following the Black Friday scandal in 2011. With limited access to online poker in America, fewer people are interested in the game.

New Jersey’s land-based casinos are benefiting from legalized online gambling in the state. Perhaps, more states will take notice soon.

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