DraftKings Brands Lead New Jersey Market, New Regulatory Data Reveals

New Jersey market shares for online casino brands are now public information thanks to a change in reporting by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). The DGE’s new numbers reveal monthly revenue for 30 online casino skins in what is by far the most crowded market for iGaming in the US. Foremost among these is DraftKings, whose flagship site holds 22% of the iGaming market.

At first glance, the New Jersey online casino market appears complicated because of the number of brands. However, many skins are “sister brands” with the same parent company. For example, MGM Resorts International and its joint venture partner Entain operate under four separate names: BetMGM, Borgata Online, Wheel of Fortune Casino, and Party. 

The New Jersey online casino market breaks down similarly to Michigan's despite the larger number of brands.

Lumping co-owned brands together, the picture that emerges is not too different from other states. The best point of comparison is with Michigan, which allows only 15 online casino brands, each on a separate license, making market shares clearly visible.

In both cases, the market lead is a tight race between MGM, DraftKings, and Flutter. 

Flutter’s US flagship, FanDuel, recently overtook BetMGM as the iGaming market leader in Michigan. If you include its other subsidiary, PokerStars, it has been on top for longer.

In New Jersey, it remains deadlocked with MGM for second place, while DraftKings leads. Aside from the 22% held by its namesake site, it can count the 3% of the market held by Golden Nugget, which it acquired in 2022.

‘Big Three’ Weaker in NJ Thanks to Hard Rock

DraftKings’ lead in New Jersey may only be temporary, as the race is close, and we have no data outside of Q1 2024. As we’ve seen in Michigan, any of the three is capable of making a move, and there’s no runaway leader for the US as a whole.

What is perhaps more significant is that the “Big Three” are collectively less dominant in New Jersey than they are in Michigan. In the latter state, the combined share for the three flagship brands has rarely wavered much from 70%. Including Golden Nugget (for DraftKings) and PokerStars (for Flutter) puts it at 76% in Michigan for Q1 2024.

In New Jersey, they hold just 69% with a combined eight brands, less than the three flagship brands hold on their own in Michigan.

We can attribute essentially all of the difference to the presence of Hard Rock Bet in New Jersey. It holds an impressive 9% of the market. For comparison, that’s as much as all Caesars-owned brands combined. With nearly $26 million in first-quarter revenue, it’s remarkably big for a brand that doesn’t exist in other states except as a standalone sportsbook.

Hard Rock has a well-known retail presence in Atlantic City and entered the online casino market in 2018. That meant it narrowly beat the rush of new brands attracted by the legalization of sports betting. Lacking that advantage in other states, it has taken a more cautious approach. For now, it has stayed out of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and the other iGaming states.

Multiple Brands Aren’t Generally Additive

Looking at the New Jersey breakdown is instructive in that it shows that market shares are generally held by parent companies, not brands. That is to say, there’s little evidence that adding new brands can bolster a company’s market share. Even when they perform well, they appear to pull market share away from the company’s other brands rather than from competitors.

BetMGM Casino and its affiliated brands are the clearest illustration of this. In Michigan, it’s the only brand operated by MGM and Entain and once held as much as 40% of the market. Now, it has fallen to 25% but remains in a close second of FanDuel.

In New Jersey, MGM’s total market share is 22%, which is close to what it has in Michigan. However, BetMGM as a single brand holds only 11%, while Borgata holds 9%. The rest comes from Party and Wheel of Fortune.

Like Hard Rock, Borgata is a famous retail property in Atlantic City, which explains the brand’s power. MGM also operates Borgata Online in Pennsylvania. Exact online casino market shares aren’t visible, but BetMGM and Borgata split online poker revenue 75/25.

There are some exceptions to this principle. DraftKings’ market lead in New Jersey may well stem from its acquisition of Golden Nugget. That’s because Golden Nugget had a longstanding retail and online presence in the Garden State. Thus, DraftKings was buying existing customers as well as a brand.

Caesars is also doing much better in New Jersey, with a 9% market share compared to 6% in Michigan. Like MGM, it operates under four brands in New Jersey. However, it has the same advantages as Hard Rock and Golden Nugget. It has been in the online casino market since it opened in 2013. Moreover, it owns three of the nine Atlantic City casinos, whose brand power and customer databases it can leverage to support its online platforms.

For more info on NJ’s top online casinos: DraftKings Casino | BetMGM Casino | FanDuel Casino | Caesars Palace | Hard Rock Bet

About the Author

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon is an online gambling industry analyst with nearly ten years of experience. He currently serves as Casino News Managing Editor for Bonus.com, part of the Catena Media Network. Other gambling news sites he has contributed to include PlayUSA and Online Poker Report, and his writing has been cited in The Atlantic.
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