Delaware Online Gaming Revenue Plummets, as Market Doesn’t Follow New Jersey’s Lead

Posted on: April 19, 2017, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: April 19, 2017, 02:05h.

Delaware online gaming revenue came to a screeching halt in March, as internet casinos won just $151,811, a 42 percent drop compared to the same month in 2016.

Delaware online gaming revenue March
New Jersey’s internet casinos are prospering, but next door, March’s Delaware online gaming revenue report has operators scratching their heads. (Image: Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)

The 42 percent loss translates into over $108,000 less going into the coffers of the three online gaming operators in the First State. Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway posted a net win of $260,539 during the same month a year ago.

Dover Downs was the biggest loser, as the racetrack casino’s online platform netted just $20,714, down 76 percent from 2016’s take.

Delaware Park, the iGaming leader in the state, also went the wrong way in March. Though total wagers grew to nearly $5.6 million, a poor hold on video lottery games led to a bottom line that fell 49 percent year-over-year.

Harrington was the lone bright spot on the March iGaming report. The smallest of the three operators saw its revenue from online gambling more than double.

Delaware online gaming operators are coming off their best year-to-date, as revenue soared 62 percent in 2016. A steep decline in March provides plenty of concern, with many questions that somehow need to find an answer.

Errors of March

Delaware online gaming’s $151,811 total is the state’s lowest win since July of 2015.

So what happened? In the simplest of explanations, players turned off their online wagering terminals.

Last month, Delaware Park and Dover Downs took a combined $7,215,139 in online table bets and video lottery wagers. In February, those same two platforms accepted $9,583,504.

Video lottery, which typically accounts for the majority of the operators’ net take, fell 36 percent. Table games lost 48 percent year-on-year.

Poker was also down, as rake and fee provided just $17,715, a 53 percent decline. It marks the worst online poker month in Delaware’s iGaming history, which dates back to November 2013.

The disappointing statistics have regulators and casinos baffled. Delaware did enjoy an unseasonably warm March, and though a winter storm dumped over a foot of snow in parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Delaware was largely spared.

Garden State Growth

March is the month when spring officially begins, and in New Jersey there’s been plenty of new growth when it comes to online gambling. While Delaware saw its internet casinos take a nosedive, Jersey’s five interactive gaming networks saw their earnings jump more than 40 percent compared to March 2016.

The Garden State’s iCasinos are providing substantial relief to their land-based partners in Atlantic City, and helping to stabilize the Boardwalk community’s economy.

For every $10 an Atlantic City casino made in March, over $1 came from online gaming. “The online industry is on pace for another record year,” New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck said earlier this month.

The disparity between Delaware and New Jersey’s online gaming markets is quite perplexing. One grew by 40 percent, while the other dropped by 42 percent.