NJ Online Poker Falters As Overall State Gambling Market Soars
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) recently published a report for November outlining the performance of its online gaming markets.
The report showed that the state’s online gambling market continues to set monthly records in terms of revenues generation. However, one sector within the industry that has found itself floundering is online poker.
Revenues generated by online poker in the state have been decreasing during the last two years but stats from the DGE report showed that online poker revenue recorded in November was the lowest revenue in the six years since online gambling was legalised in the state.
Online poker revenues have steadily declined with every passing month in stark contrast to the significant revenue surge in the online casino market (slots and table games). Online poker revenues have decreased by an average of 9% each month, which represent a 4.4% average decrease per year. To give you an idea of the decline, online poker revenues in November 2018 was $1,561,639 and dropped to $1,492,494 in November 2019.
Online poker generated record low revenues this November despite two major online poker tournaments being held. The New Jersey PokerStars Champion of Online Poker (NJCOOP) bolstered PokerStars’ revenue slightly, while the WSOP Fall Online Championships did not have much of an impact on the bottom line of the WSOP and 888.
Shared Player Pools Key to NJ Online Poker?
It is clear that something must be done to help online poker survive in New Jersey. One strategy that appears instrumental in helping online poker is expanding the state’s player pool by integrating it with the player pools of other states. Pennsylvania is a new online poker market and holds a lot of potential.
Combining player pools with other states may be a promising solution, but a number of barriers exist. First, Pennsylvania has yet to attract other online poker operators to its state as the only operator as of now is PokerStars. No other operators are slated to enter the market anytime soon, limiting the number of people in shared player pools.
Second, because PokerStars does not operate in either Nevada or Delaware, they can only share player pools with their sister site in New Jersey.
Lastly, the solution requires an interstate agreement between New Jersey and Pennsylvania as the two states need to establish a framework for interstate online gaming. Currently, no talks have been announced between the state regulators.
Without overcoming these barriers, it is likely that online poker in New Jersey will continue to decrease in popularity and revenue.