Later this afternoon, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) will publish the first official revenue figures for all of the operators involved in the newly regulated market. As most of the companies involved are quoted on the stock market and have benefited from investor enthusiasm about the US market potential, there will be many eyes glued on the results.
The regulatory figures produced by the DGE are shockingly detailed compared to their European equivalents. A complete breakdown by casino, and by game is publicly available, and the internet gaming numbers are expected to be no exception—all will be bared.
The latest figures to come out of Nevada show that the big gaming companies lost $1.35bn in 2013. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) reports on 263 licensed gaming providers which gross over $1m per annum, many of which are represented in New Jersey. The New Jersey numbers could severely affect investor perceptions of their future profits.
The Borgata/bwin.party partnership has clearly secured an initial cash game traffic lead, but their marketing costs to date are unlikely to mean that they have hit profitability early. For those market players who have failed to meet expectations, the stock market is unlikely to be kind.
Ultimate Poker which did so well in establishing an early position in Nevada, has not been able to transfer that success to an early lead in New Jersey. The Caesars/888 partnership has gained traction, but again, investors may be disappointed that they have not done better—although their late start in Nevada has not stopped them from taking the lead in that state.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will also be on tenterhooks, as the early numbers will indicate whether the gamble he took to liberalize online gaming in order to boost tax revenues in the state has succeeded.
For today, success will not be measured by traffic statistics—investors will get to judge on cold, hard revenue numbers.