Rush starts a push in New Jersey

Rush starts a push in New Jersey

Friday, September 23, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Booming online market welcomes new competitor

Rush Street Interactive, the online arm of the company behind the Sugarhouse casino in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has begun operating in New Jersey as the latest figures for the state show the online casino continuing its year-on-year increases.

Rush Street Gaming has teamed up with Golden Nugget to offer online gambling under the Sugarhouse name. It went live in mid-September.

Rush Street joins PokerStars (which has partnered with Resorts Digital) as a recent entrant in New Jersey which, in comparison to the land-based market, continues to boom.

The latest numbers show from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) show the online market grew nearly 32% year-on-year in August to $16.1m. Revenues in the year to date are up similarly up over 32% to $128.3m compared to $96.8m in the year to August 2015.

Borgata, which is powered by the GVC-owned PartyGaming, once again retains top spot with revenues in August of $3.7m but it saw a mere 1.7% growth year-on-year. In comparison, Caesars Interactive enjoyed a 12.7% rise in revenues to $3.1m and the aforementioned Golden Nugget saw revenues rise 54% to $3.5m. It could conceivably overtake Borgata in the coming month if the growth differential between it and Borgata is maintained.

Also growing at a pace stronger than the market is Resorts Digital where the introduction of PokerStars has seen it rise to fourth place in the market standings with revenues of $2.9m in August.

The entry of ‘Stars is the likeliest factor behind the slight reversal of fortunes for poker in New Jersey, where August revenues of $2.2m were just under 10% up on the same month last year. Casino revenues were up 36% at $13.9m.

The online market continues to shine in comparison with the land-based market where total revenues in August were down 6.7% to $229.8m, although the NJDGE noted that the weekend calendar for this year compared unfavourably with last year.

The sliver of good news for Atlantic City is that recent polls suggest the ballot to be held in November on the potential expansion of gambling to north New Jersey is likely to fail. The ballot asks whether two new casinos should be built in the north of the state but according to a poll conducted last week by Rutgers Eagleton, 50% of those asked responded that gambling should remain solely in Atlantic City, with only 40% favouring casino expansion. Opponents point out that such an opening up of north New Jersey would accelerate the problems in Atlantic City which has seen five casinos close within recent years.

Totally Gaming says: The move by Rush Gaming Interactive to enter the New Jersey online market proves its attractiveness. The market is shaping up to be very competitive, and the next big news will be to see whether the Borgata retains a lead it has held in the state since inception or whether it will be overtaken, perhaps by a Sugar-enhanced Golden Nugget.

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