A rivalry isn’t really a true rivalry if it is utterly one-sided. The competition for the top spot among New Jersey online casino licensees has been anything but a rivalry as it has actually quite predictable for months. That was until June, however.
As the online gambling industry in New Jersey continued to grow in June, that growth was not equitable among all eight licensees. In fact, Golden Nugget powered its way to the top of the heap and ended the Borgata’s dominance in that regard.
A shakeup in the New Jersey online casino landscape
The view from the top is something that Golden Nugget hasn’t seen in a while. However, it is somewhat familiar. In fact, Borgata’s various online brands like BetMGM Casino were the top earners in the state from March 2021 through May of this year.
That streak of 27 consecutive months for the Borgata ended in June, however. According to the latest report from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), Golden Nugget pulled in more than $41.7 million in win during June to lead all eight licensees.
Borgata came in second with $39.4 million in win. Golden Nugget’s growth helped post overall growth in the online casino segment, as the total for all eight licensees was up 12.1% compared to June 2022.
The online portion of casino gaming in New Jersey wasn’t alone in posting year-over-year growth. In-person poker, slots and table game revenue also saw an annual increase, albeit considerably smaller.
Physical casino revenue up over 5% in June
Slot play in June helped Atlantic City’s eight casinos post their own 5.4% year-over-year improvement, posting a 7% revenue increase of its own compared to June 2022. The Borgata managed to hang onto its top spot for in-person gaming revenue, winning over $60.5 million.
Therefore, the Borgata accounted for about a quarter of the land-based casino revenue in New Jersey during June. The significant uptick in June was a reversal of sorts for gambling activity on the Boardwalk.
Comparatively, in-person gaming revenue has been mostly flat for most of 2023 so far. For example, revenue in this segment was actually down 2.7% in May. In June, though, five of the eight properties beat their 2022 same-month numbers. Four of those five did so by double digits percentage-wise as well.
As it looks like it could be a good summer in Atlantic City, that bodes well for gambling in New Jersey as a whole. Typically, summer is a down time for sports betting across the United States. However, New Jersey sportsbooks might be bucking that trend.
New Jersey sportsbooks actually enjoy stellar June
New Jersey sportsbooks did see a typical summer slowdown in turn of the dollars wagered. For June, that amount came to $591 million. For reference, bettors put down over $778.8 million on sports bets in May in New Jersey.
However, the amount of the money that bettors wagered which sportsbooks kept in June was impressive. Revenue for the month more than doubled compared to June 2022, actually increasing by almost 70%. It also represented a strong 11.2% of the money they took in.
Partially because of the stellar year-over-year growth in sports betting revenue, June ended up being a good month for the state’s treasury, too. The total of taxes assessed on this gaming activity was up 13.6% compared to June 2022.
June was also the month that Golden Nugget may have taken a big step toward creating an actual rivalry with Borgata for the online casino revenue crown. Future months will do more to show whether it was just an outlier or the beginning of a legitimate competition.