Total Annual Revenues for 2021 US Online Poker and iGaming Show Overall Sector Growth
Online gaming revenue in American states that regulate it continued its impressive growth in 2021. While there may be slight dips on occasion, the overall trend remains on an upward trajectory. No market has shown there to be a cap.
Online poker is another story. There is only tracking for this sector in three states – New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania – and none of them had an overwhelmingly positive year. Comparing numbers to 2020 is not exactly fair because the pandemic lockdowns sent online poker numbers soaring, but there was no real upward growth in 2021, even without a comparison to 2020.
It should go without saying, at this point, that online poker will not grow substantially until Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, and West Virginia sign the multi-state poker agreement. When this happens, the WSOP can share beyond its current NV-NJ-DE combination. PokerStars and partypoker sites will be able to finally share with their sister sites across state lines. And it will give West Virginia and Connecticut the incentive needed to actually launch online poker sites, which are already legal by law.
This action will also incentivize other states. Several states are considering or will consider igaming legislation in 2022. They will likely consider online poker as a mere formality unless lawmakers can see the real-life results of interstate action.
There is still the possibility of a robust state-regulated online poker market in America. It may not reach the heights of internet gaming (casino table games and slots), but there is potential. States must simply open the doors to see it.
Meanwhile, we have the numbers to look at December performances and those for full-year 2021.
Delaware: December 2021
Online poker in Delaware was a bit of a roller coaster in 2021. The first few months of the year continued a decline from the pandemic lockdowns, but the last three months of the year saw an upswing.
–December 2021 online poker rake & fees: $43,069
–November 2021 online poker: $33,361
–December 2020 online poker: $36,014
Month-on-month: 29.1% increase
Year-on-year: 19.6% increase
The Delaware igaming market as a whole includes table games, video lottery games, and online poker. That also experienced some highs and lows, though the overall trend was an upward one. November and December even took the igaming sector very close to the pandemic highs of May and June 2020.
–December 2021 igaming revenue: $1,087,671
–November 2021 igaming: $996,639
–December 2020 igaming: $698,477
Month-on-month: 9.1% increase
Year-on-year: 55.7% increase
Delaware also reveals its number of new registrations monthly. The highest numbers of new registrations in 2020 happened during lockdowns, for obvious reasons, but the last half of 2021 started to mimic that growth. Year-on-year registration increases were significant in every one of the last few months, showing a possible new and sustained interest in igaming in the state.
Delaware: Total 2021
For the year 2021, online poker was down, but igaming on the whole was up. The Delaware market shows consistent growth overall, with only online poker struggling to stay above 2019 and slowly build again in the post-pandemic era.
|DE iPoker Revenue||DE iGaming Revenue|
As shown in the above chart, the 2020 revenues for both sectors (online poker and internet gaming) grew significantly. The past year, however, saw online poker fall as the entire sector grew at an expected rate.
Michigan: December and Total 2021
As it has been through the first year of Michigan igaming, there is no breakout of online poker revenue from the rest of online casino revenues. Therefore, we have no idea how the poker sites are performing. As for igaming on the whole, the first year saw mostly month-on-month growth with small exceptions. For example, November dropped nearly 2% but recovered with a 13% jump in December.
–December 2021 internet gaming gross receipts: $121,760,593
–November 2021 igaming: $107,593,002
Month-on-month: 13.2% increase
Michigan launched its first sites in January, though more launched as the year progressed. And sites were only live for a small part of January, so the real growth began to show later in the year. As expected, the igaming sector grew consistently, with these totals for the year:
-Total 2021 Gross iGaming Receipts: $1,113,999,355
-Total 2021 Taxes Paid: $201,667,034
An outstanding total of more than $1.1B in its first year, Michigan will likely see steady growth going forward, as the industry is still in its infancy.
Nevada: December and Total 2021
Nevada does not report its online poker revenue. The WSOP online poker site is the only one licensed in the state and chooses not to reveal its revenue. This has been the case for years. We have no data.
New Jersey: December 2021
The month of December showed an unusual uptick in monthly online poker revenue, the largest month-on-month jump all year, in fact. However, the sector ended the year lower than it started.
–December 2021 internet poker win: $2,337,845
–November 2021 internet poker: $2,196,525
–December 2020 internet poker: $3,020,053
Month-on-month: 6.4% increase
Year-on-year: 22.6% decrease
The totality of the igaming sector grew from November to December. There were some monthly downswings throughout the year, but the gains greatly outweighed the losses.
–December 2021 internet gaming win: $117,953,098
–November 2021 internet gaming: $117,953,098
–December 2020 internet gaming: $99,450,065
Month-on-month: 12.9% increase
Year-on-year: 33.9% increase
New Jersey: Total 2021
The New Jersey online poker market was down for the year. That marketed 23% decrease was partially due to the out-of-character gains in 2020 during the lockdowns, but the setbacks were disappointing, nonetheless. The overall online gaming market, however, continued its annual growth as has been the case since the sector’s inception.
|NJ iPoker Revenue||NJ iGaming Revenue|
As the chart shows, igaming holds its own despite an unsteady poker market.
Pennsylvania: December 2021
After several months of decline, the Pennsylvania online poker market grew in December to stop the bleeding. Year-on-year growth, on the other hand, had started in August and continued through December. The second full year of online poker doesn’t have much pre-pandemic revenue for comparison, but the market is on the right track.
–December 2021 internet poker revenue: $3,061,945
–November 2021 internet poker: $2,754,681
–December 2020 internet poker: $2,729,729
Month-on-month: 11.2% increase
Year-on-year: 12.2% increase
The igaming market, which includes online poker, experienced a setback in November but reversed it in December. In year-on-year comparisons, there has never been a negative number to date. December kept that significant progress on track.
–December 2021 internet gaming revenue: $102,111,404
–November 2021 igaming: $93,889,261
–December 2020 igaming: $71,609,260
Month-on-month: 8.8% increase
Year-on-year: 42.6% increase
Pennsylvania: Total 2021
This is a relatively young market. Pennsylvania’s first online casinos launched in the summer of 2019, but online poker didn’t start until November of that year. That means that 2020 was the first full year and 2021 the second. Online poker losing less than 10% year-on-year form 2020 was not a bad result as that sector continues to find its way. The igaming market, however, continued its solid growth and exceeded annual revenue of $1B in its second full year.
|PA iPoker Revenue||PA iGaming Revenue|
The graphs below show that online poker can avoid falling the way of New Jersey, and the full sector is on a nice path upward.