Pennsylvania Live Poker Rooms To Suffer From Online Launch?
Live poker rooms in Pennsylvania have not been having a good time this year and gaming analysts are not very certain as to how these poker card rooms will respond once the online poker industry is up and running.
Pennsylvania legalized online gambling in late 2017 but so far no official online poker rooms are up and running.
The keystone state hasn’t been very swift in proceeding with its online regulations and approvals and hence it appears that online poker operators will launch operations only during the first half of 2019.
The live poker room combined revenue in Pennsylvania has seen a slow growth during the last few years. There are a little over 200 poker tables in the state which generated around $57.5 million in 2015 and did better in 2016 bringing in $58.6 million. Things continued to get better in 2017 with combined poker room revenues registering at $59.1 million.
While the growth is by no means phenomenal, it is still moving in the right direction for these card rooms. However, based on current numbers things are not looking all that bright for the ten poker rooms in Pennsylvania. Reports published by the gambling regulator show that the 10 poker rooms brought in a total of $46.55 million in October which is a drop of 6 percent compared to October 2017 when a total of $49.5 million was recorded.
Even though Sands Bethlehem and Parx Casino revamped their respective poker rooms, things haven’t moved in the right direction in 2018.
iPoker Launch Could Hurt Revenues Further
Pennsylvania is waiting on its online poker industry to launch as many believe it could shake up the live poker market in the state and provide it with a much needed boost. Not everyone share the same optimism as some operators believe that live poker will suffer once online poker offerings become available.
The slowdown in Pennsylvania’s live poker market has caused Stadium Casino and Mohegan Sun to have a change of heart when it comes to launching online poker operations. The two operators withdrew their application for an online poker license recently. Only time will tell how the live poker market reacts to the introduction of online poker.
Given the fact that New Jersey’s online poker market is struggling, it is quite possible that Pennsylvania will also experience a sluggish iPoker market and could look at a shared liquidity program with New Jersey going forward.