Delaware and New Jersey recently posted their online gambling revenue numbers for 2017 and the online poker industry in both states has not had a good year. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey are the only states in America to have live online gambling operations while Pennsylvania has legalized online gambling but hasn’t launched operations as of now. Hence the decline in online poker revenues in New Jersey and Delaware is a cause for concern for online poker enthusiasts.
New Jersey's online gambling revenues are not so worrying when looked at in total. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) posted $245.6 million in online gaming revenue for 2017. This is a 25% increase from the state's 2016 earnings of $196.7 million. The majority of this revenue came from online casino games and online poker made a very small contribution.
Online poker only contributed $24.3 million in 2017 which is an 8% drop from 2016. The cause for concern with New Jersey is that online poker revenues have declined despite PokerStars entering the Garden State in 2016. The biggest online poker operator in the world was expected to give New Jersey’s online poker market a boost in 2017 but that hasn’t happened.
Delaware is having trouble with its online gambling industry in general. Delaware Lottery, which oversees online gambling operations in the state, has posted dismal figures for the year of 2017. The state only generated around $2.4 million in online gaming revenue. This is a drop of 18% from its 2016 figures.
The drop is even more noticeable in its online poker earnings. For example in December 2017, the total earnings from Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington, who are the three main operators in the state came up to just $18,261. For 2017, revenue from online poker is just $231,000. This is a 38 percent decline for Delaware when compared to online poker revenues in 2016.
This dismal performance worries many analysts. Though the online poker boom has passed, online poker operators expected the market to perform a lot better. The decline in online poker revenues does not come as a surprise as gaming operators in all three states have been discussing the possibility of shared liquidity in order to boost online poker revenues in their respective markets. A shared liquidity agreement was signed by all three states last year and online poker operators are optimistic that things will change once shared liquidity operations go live.