New Jersey Internet Gaming Takes February Dip

New Jersey Internet Gaming Takes February Dip

February was not a good month for New Jersey gaming revenue. While revenue did still flow and internet gaming did add another $93.8M to the state’s coffers, the totals were down from the previous month, per numbers provided by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

It is a rare thing to say that New Jersey’s internet gaming revenue did not increase from one month to the next. The sector has almost continuously continued an upward trajectory despite the instability of online poker. Not only did New Jersey igaming set a record in 2020, it set yet another monthly record in January 2021. However, the difference in the number of days – 31 in January and only 28 in February – explains much of the igaming difference.

The entire gambling industry in New Jersey suffered a setback in February 2021. Another Covid-19 surge after the holidays did reduce the ability to open land-based gambling any further, though. And for some reason, sports wagering revenue fell dramatically.

If history is any indicator, though, gambling revenue will find its footing in the March numbers.

Online Poker: Appears Worse Than It Is

The 2020 onset of the coronavirus pandemic gave a boost to New Jersey’s online poker sector from a consistent downtrend, relieving it of its fairly consistent month-to-month downtrend. It provided a very solid overall revenue finish for 2020, and it gave hope for a stronger market in 2021.

Online poker started 2021 strong with a 9.13% monthly increase in January. And the revenue remained at nearly 50% more than the previous year.

February, however, brought the numbers down a notch. The year-on-year growth fell more than 10%, which was discouraging. However, by finding the average daily revenue each month in 2021 so far, this shows that online poker actually grew by 0.09%. For the sake of overall numbers, though, we’ll leave the monthly figures as reported.

–February 2021 online poker win:  $2,480,910

–January 2021 online poker win:  $2,744,291

–February 2020 online poker win:  $1,796,804

Month-on-month:  9.6% decrease

Year-on-year:  38.1% increase

The next few months will provide more of an indication of the trend to expect for the rest of 2021. Online poker will undoubtedly struggle. However, one occurrence that could change that trajectory would be the addition of Pennsylvania and/or Michigan to the multi-state online poker agreement.

Online Casino Games: Deceiving Appearances

Online slots and table games provide the bulk of New Jersey’s internet gaming revenue. When online poker can’t hold steady, the rest of the games pick up the slack. It has worked out for years in favor of consistent igaming growth.

After the segment hitting a new high in January 2021, online casino revenue dropped significantly in February. Again, though, if we take the average daily revenue for each month, it shows that igaming actually increased 0.09% from January to February, just like online poker.

Further, the segment maintained its above-80% year-on-year growth rate.

–February 2021 online casino games win:  $91,329,675

–January 2021 online casino games win:  $101,027,021

–February 2020 online casino games win:  $50,190,964

Month-on-month:  9.6% decrease

Year-on-year:  81.96% increase

Putting it all together provided these numbers for the full internet gaming sector in February 2021.

–February 2021 total internet gaming win:  $93,810,486

–January 2021 total internet gaming win:  $103,771,312

–February 2020 total internet gaming win:  $51,987,768

Month-on-month:  9.6% decrease

Year-on-year:  80.45% increase

Since these are the overall numbers and not ones that consider the difference in the three-day difference between January and February, they don’t really reflect the truly monthly differences.

Sports Betting: Surprising Drop

No amount of calendar days can fix the sports betting revenue decrease. Even so, the same type of downswing happened from January to February in 2020 as well.

–February 2021 sports betting win:  $46,213,864

–January 2021 sports betting win: $82,640,979

–February 2020 sports betting win:  $17,000,928

Month-on-month:  44.1% decrease

Year-on-year:  171.8% increase

March is very likely to show an increase with more sports in progress and gearing up for new seasons.

Total NJ Gambling: Another Setback

The overall revenue drop from January to February is primarily a result of that post-holiday increase in positive Covid-19 cases and deaths. While vaccines are in the distribution phase, the carelessness of people burning their masks before the pandemic is truly under control may lead to further waves. The next few months will tell that story.

Meanwhile, February was a setback for overall gambling revenue. The average daily revenue figures that consider the January-February calendar day difference does make it less startling, though. That decrease in average daily revenue dipped only 7.9% from January to February. It is not great, but it is only half of what the general numbers report.

–February 2021 total gaming revenue:  $288,264,651

–January 2021 total gaming revenue:  $346,422,920

–February 2020 total gaming revenue:  $287,305,338

–Month-on-month:  16.8% decrease

–Year-on-year:  0.33% increase

Gambling entities provided $30.2M to the state in February 2021.

Next month should – with some luck – tell a more positive story for New Jersey igaming.

 

 

About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including PokerStars.com and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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