New Jersey Internet Gaming and Online Poker Rose in January
A new year is often a chance to start fresh, to makes changes for the better, to improve from the past year. New Jersey’s internet gaming business made those resolutions for 2019, but it wasn’t evident if the online poker segment would hold up its end of the deal.
Online casino games in New Jersey didn’t really need to improve, as the revenue numbers were consistently impressive and growing month after month. The numbers hit new highs in 2018, pushing the entire internet gaming revenue number past the $1 billion mark and contributing significantly to the overall gambling casino win for the state.
Poker didn’t have a great 2018, however. Most months, the downswings were disappointing and even disconcerting, as there seemed to be very little hope for consistent improvement for online poker. None of the online poker operators addressed it, and few analysts even wanted to speculate about the future of internet poker in America based on the New Jersey financials.
But hello, 2019! Not only did the internet casino revenue set yet another new monthly record, online poker increased from the previous month by a percentage it had not seen in some time.
Internet Casino Games Climb to New Heights
Since internet casino games revenue has been on the rise well before 2018 and through that year, it should be no surprise that January 2019 showed further growth.
The numbers released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for January 2019 showed one of the most significant increases in recent memory for internet casino games, excluding poker.
–January 2019 online casino games win: $31,711,501
–December 2018 online casino games win: $27,243,703
–January 2018 online casino games win: $20,011,643
—Month-on-month: 16.4% increase
—Year-on-year: 58.5% increase
Any Increase is Progress for Online Poker
Most months of 2018 were spent bemoaning the online poker sector of New Jersey’s internet gaming business. Its sad trajectory through the year was predominantly decreases mixed with an occasional uptick that signified no real, substantive change for the better.
While the January 2019 numbers could be the same type of temporary gain, it doesn’t hurt to believe that this may be the start of a new upward trend for the peer-to-peer portion of New Jersey internet gaming.
–January 2019 online poker win: $1,882,890
–December 2018 online poker win: $1,764,562
–January 2018 online poker win: $1,950,696
—Month-on-month: 6.7% increase
—Year-on-year: 3.5% decrease
Since all online poker and casino games are put into the same internet gaming category for all intents and purposes, it’s beneficial to look at that increase of 53% over the same month last year. And it’s important to note that the increase is far above any growth shown for slot machines or table games in land-based casino properties.
–January 2019 total internet gaming win: $33,594,391
–December 2018 total internet gaming win: $29,008,265
–January 2018 total internet gaming win: $21,962,339
—Month-on-month: 7.7% increase
—Year-on-year: 39.7% increase
The total casino win for January 2019 was more than $177 million, and sports wagering revenue came in at $18.78 million, much lower than internet gaming and down from December 2018. But all in all, the entire New Jersey revenue for last month was $229,645,329, nearly 25% above the same month from the previous year.
Will Fight for Rights
More than five years of growth for the overall internet gaming sector shows a significant contribution to the overall growth of Atlantic City. The business has been vital to the state, and everyone from casino executives to lawmakers recognize this.
New Jersey is prepared to fight to keep the right to not only offer online poker and casino games but to do so within interstate liquidity agreements established between states. Currently, New Jersey’s WSOP online poker site is the only one that shares player pools with sister sites in Nevada and Delaware, but the Pennsylvania market will provide more substantial opportunities for more sites to share players and expand networks.
The recent decision by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel to overturn the 2011 Wire Act opinion puts many aspects of that online poker market – and online gaming in general – in jeopardy. For that reason, it took only a few weeks for New Jersey and Pennsylvania Attorneys General to pen a letter to the DOJ demanding a reversal of the latest decision and provide documentation to prove that casino mogul and anti-online gambling lobbyist Sheldon Adelson directly influenced the decision.
New Jersey continues to reap the benefits of internet gaming and will fight to keep it, even if it means a court battle.
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