Delaware iGaming Up in March, Online Poker Down
At one point, Delaware bucked the trend seen in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Online poker revenue increased regularly along side the other igaming verticals of video lottery and online casino table games. It is the smallest igaming market in the US by far – not including sports betting – but it has been a steady little stream of revenue for Delaware, especially during the pandemic.
During 2020, most of which was consumed by the pandemic, online poker grew 120%, not far behind online table games at 137%.
March revenue figures from the Delaware Lottery, though, show online poker revenue down but other verticals growing significantly.
This may change in April because Delaware players can participate in the big WSOP Spring Online Championships, as the three DE sites are on the same 888poker platform as the WSOP in New Jersey and Nevada. And online poker numbers would surely rise if Delaware players could win WSOP gold bracelets alongside those other players in July, but – for some reason – they cannot.
Meanwhile, Delaware igaming as a whole continues to benefit the state’s coffers.
Online Poker: No Growth in March
This segment of Delaware’s internet gaming market showed promise through much of 2020 and into 2021. There was even January to February growth of 9.5% when we prorated the numbers. March, however, had more days and a notable dip in revenue.
All gains from the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 are definitely gone, as this year’s March online poker revenue is closer to pre-pandemic levels than in past months.
–March 2021 online poker rake/fees: $36,711.13
–March 2020 online poker rake/fees: $57,689.50
–February 2021 online poker rake/fees: $39,193.74
Year-on-year: 36.4% decrease
Month-on-month: 6.3% decrease
As mentioned, this is likely to change in April but could fall again thereafter. It depends on what happens between the WSOP and its Delaware sites. In addition, the hope of more states entering the multi-state online poker sharing agreement still hovers. If and when Michigan and Pennsylvania combine – and the WSOP actually launches sites in those states – that should boost Delaware’s numbers significantly.
Internet Gaming: Lotto and Table Games Up
Both of these verticals did very well in March, staying well above the corresponding 2020 numbers. And the action for both video lottery and online table games remains on a positive trajectory. Every month of 2021 thus far showed solid growth, building on the pandemic-inspired surge.
The online sites and land-based partners seem to have a positive and symbiotic relationship. And it works well for the state of Delaware.
(Online lottery and casino games revenue increases wiped out the online poker decrease.)
–March 2021 igaming net revenue: $897,781.22
–March 2020 igaming net revenue: $514,959.34
–February 2021 igaming net revenue: $751,291.18
Year-on-year: 74.3% increase
Month-on-month: 19.5% increase
The rate of growth may slow as racinos open to larger-capacity crowds and spring months roll in, but growth of some kind is likely to continue.
New Registrations: Slight Downturn
The three sites started strong in early 2021 with an increase in the number of registrations in January and February. That stopped in March with a slight decrease. And it simply couldn’t compare with the March 2020 number, which was the first month of lockdown when many people discovered their internet gaming options.
–March 2021 registrations: 732
–March 2020 registrations: 930
–February 2021 registrations: 782
Year-on-year: 21.3% decrease
Month-on-month: 6.4% decrease
This is a tough number to predict in 2021. Many players with accounts will continue to play online, but it could be more difficult to attract new players when racinos welcome players back in pre-pandemic numbers.