New Jersey releases the gross earnings numbers for its regulated
December 2017 highlights
$245 million in earnings for the year. Almost a quarter of a billion in earnings for 2017? That’s an impressive figure for New Jersey. The $245.6 million in gross gaming revenue for the year is up nearly 25 percent from 2016 ($196.7 million). Total GGR has been more than 20 percent year full year of the industry’s existence. It has doubled since 2014 ($122.9 million).
Ten straight months over $20 million. December itself was a fantastic month as well, with $20.8 million in revenue for the state’s online casinos and poker rooms. The last time earnings dipped below $20 million was last February.
Is growth eventually slowing? It was not all rainbows and unicorns for the industry, however. Overall growth for casino and poker combined was about 13 percent year over year, one of the lowest growth rates we’ve seen in years.
still going strong. Last month, Golden Nugget earned more than $6 million in earnings in consecutive months for the first time. We can make that three months in a row.
Best line numbers
Revenue / month-over-month change / year-over-year change (normalized for one less day in November)
Total: $20.8 million / -2.5% / +12.9%
Casino: $18.8 million / -3.1% / +15.6%
Poker: $1.9 million / 3.6% / -7.8%
Poker was really up over the previous month while casino was down, a dynamic that does not happen usually in NJ. That’s not really saying much, however, since poker’d almost hit bottom in the prior month. And poker was still down from the previous December by eight per cent.
Casino showed signs of slowing. YoY growth dipped below 20 percent for the first time since March 2016. Nonetheless, the economy grew in December, albeit at a slower rate than we’ve come to expect. Whether that’s a trend or a one-off remains to be seen.
Overall, the market is down MoM and up YoY. The last time yearly growth didn’t eclipse 13 percent? April 2015. This could be the first indicator that the industry has stopped its fast rate of expansion, but the market has surprised us before. Revenue was down month over month in casino, when accounting for the additional day in December.
Winners and losers
In alphabetical order, by IGP holder:
(Borgata, , , MGM): Other than Golden Nugget, Borgata was the sole licensee to observe a double-digit percentage gain in revenue year over year, as casino was up almost 20 percent. (Poker basically held steady YoY, bucking the trend at the other two major networks.) With $4.3 million in total earnings, Borgata is half a million apparent as the No. 2 operator in the nation.
( , Caesars, , ): Caesars was one of the few operators that could celebrate its month-over-month performance, up an industry high of almost 10 percent (normalized for November), to $3.8 million across casino and poker. After some months at the rear of the back, Caesars has righted the ship. That’s no thanks to the poker aspect of things, however, where revenue was down 20 percent YoY.
Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, , ): Golden Nugget eclipsed $6 million in earnings for the fifth time and for the third straight month. Its 27 percent growth rate YoY was tops in the industry, but also one of the lower figures its posted in some time.
Resorts AC ( , , ): It was a terrible month for Resorts, which dropped to last place in overall earnings ($3.2 million). The casino dropped $400,000 from November, while PokerStars saw a rise in earnings month over month. The story was different on the yearly side, as poker was casino and down was up slightly.
(Tropicana, ): The Trop held steady to churn from the basement concerning earnings ($3.4 million), ceding that position to the above Resorts casinos. Annual growth clocked in at nine per cent, just off the average for the whole industry.
Thorough numbers by operator / merchandise
Dec 2017Nov 2017 (Normalized for one less day)Difference month over month (normalized)Dec 2016Difference year over year
Borgata poker$630,823$595,6545.90%$625,3720.87 percent
Borgata casino$3,675,415$3,814,342-3.64%$3,075,47819.51 percent
Borgata overall$4,306,238$4,409,996-2.35%$3,700,85016.36 percent
Caesars poker$530,037$557,894-4.99%$667,264-20.57 percent
Caesars casino$3,270,633$2,911,06012.35%$2,995,3059.19 percent
Golden Nugget casino$6,086,534$6,400,457-4.90%$4,790,41827.06 percent
Resorts casino$2,424,802$2,928,778-17.21%$2,332,7053.95 percent
Resorts overall$3,201,003$3,645,356-12.19%$3,141,5541.89 percent
Total overall$20,757,645$21,297,223-2.53%$18,382,44412.92 percent
Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and programmer — such as stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He’s played poker recreationally for his whole adult life and has written about poker since 2008.