Online Poker and Casino Revenue in MI, NJ and PA Projected to Exceed $3.5 Billion in 2021

To date, the three states have grossed $3.2 billion in online casino and poker revenue from first year of combined market’s existence.
Online Poker and Casino Revenue in MI, NJ and PA Projected to Exceed $3.5 Billion in 2021
morgan housel via unsplash, unsplash
December 24, 2021

Revenue from online casino gaming and poker in 2021 from Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are projected to exceed a combined $3.5 billion in the first year of operation, according to data from regulators in all three states.

To date, the three states have grossed $3.2 billion in online casino and poker. New Jersey led the way with $1.2 billion, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE). Pennsylvania followed with $1 billion and Michigan with $992.2 million, data from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) show, respectively.

The totals to date equate to monthly averages of $112.2 million in New Jersey, $91.9 million in Pennsylvania, and $90.2 million in Michigan — for a sum of $294.3 million. Should those averages be realized in December, the year-end total would exceed $3.5 billion.

December is likely to be above average since poker activity usually picks up during the month. Since the MGCB does not separate poker revenue from online casino revenue, it is not possible to calculate how much poker contributed to the final total overall.

New Jersey Solid All Year, Michigan on a Roll

A side-by-side analysis of all three states reveals that October was the strongest month for the two verticals, when online poker and casino grossed $339.6 million and all three states reported revenue of $100 million or more. October remains the only month of 2021 where that occurred, but the three states came close on four separate occasions.

Last March, New Jersey was at $113.7 million, but Michigan and Pennsylvania were at $95.1 million and $97.7 million, so the states were about $7.2 million short. In May, New Jersey and Pennsylvania posted revenue of $108.2 million and $101.3 million, respectively, but Michigan was about $5.1 million short at $94.9 million.

The trio came within a whisker of $100 million each in September, after New Jersey grossed $122.6 million and Michigan had $102.4 million. But Pennsylvania wound up about $2.2 million short at $97.8 million.

November was another opportunity for the three, after New Jersey reported $118 million in revenue and Michigan posted $107.6 million, but Pennsylvania was short again, this time by about $6.1 million, after grossing $93.9 million for the month.

New Jersey has consistently exceeded $100 million in revenue for the two combined verticals, only missing the mark once, in February ($93.8 million). Pennsylvania only hit the mark twice, in May and October months.

Different Operators Lifted States to $1B

Data from the three regulators show that different operators helped each state exceed — or, in Michigan’s case, get very close to exceeding — $1 billion in online casino and poker revenue in 2021.

In Michigan, the trio of BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel have dominated since the market opened in January. BetMGM MI grossed $40.1 million in November, while DraftKings MI and FanDuel Casino were tied at $16.8 million.

BetMGM Poker MI and PokerStars MI are currently the only two regulated online poker sites in the Wolverine State. WSOP MI was poised to join them during the late months of 2021, but the launch has been delayed until 2022 for reasons that are unclear.

Online casino revenue slid 7.1% to $115.8 million in New Jersey in November, while poker revenue also declined 9.7% to $2.2 million. Both verticals are a three-way race between three different sets of operators.

BetMGM Casino NJ, Borgata Casino NJ, and partycasino NJ — all partners on the Borgata casino license — grossed $33 million in online casino revenue in November and held 28.5% of market. Meanwhile, Golden Nugget and its partners — FanDuel, PlaySugarHouse, and others — were close behind at $31.8 million and 27.4%. Resorts and its partner operators — PokerStars NJ, DraftKings, and Barstool, among others — were in third at $27.2 million and 23.5%.

In the NJ poker vertical, the (literal) three-way race between PokerStars NJ, WSOP NJ, and licensees on the Borgata license got interesting in September when Borgata took the lead from WSOP, which had held the lead for every month going back to June 2020. But WSOP took the lead back in November and held 38.9% of the market during the month.

WSOP — on the Caesars license — grossed $854k in November while the Borgata licensees — BetMGM Poker NJ, Borgata Poker NJ, and partypoker NJ — were in second place with $735k. PokerStars NJ — on the Resorts license — was in third with $607k. Borgata held 33.5% of the vertical while PokerStars had 27.7%.

PGCB figures show that PA online casino revenue is likely to pass the $1 billion mark all on its own, sans poker. The vertical was at about $981.5 million through November, when it posted $91.1 million.

Operators on the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course license — BetMGM Casino PA, DraftKings, and Barstool — remained atop the vertical after grossing $37.2 million and holding about 41% of the market in November.

Borgata Casino PA, BetRivers Casino PA, and SugarHouse Casino — operators under the Rivers-Philadelphia casino license — grossed $24.1 million and held 26.5% of the market, while Valley Forge Casino and its online partners — FanDuel Casino and Stardust iCasino — were in third place at $16.4 million and 18%.

Poker continues to be dominated by PokerStars PA in the Keystone State, likely due to it being the only game in town up until April of this year when BetMGM PA and Borgata Poker PA came onto the scene. PokerStars — on the Mount Airy Casino Resort license — grossed $1.8 million and held 65% of the vertical.

WSOP PA — on the license of Caesars-owned Harrah’s Philadelphiagained ground on PokerStars, but was still in a distant second place with $649k of revenue and 23.5% of the market. BetMGM Poker PA — on the Hollywood Casino at Penn National license — was even further behind at $233k and 8.5%.

Borgata Poker PA — the smallest poker operator in PA and on the Rivers-Philadelphia license — grossed $85k and held 3.1% of the market in November.

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