New Jersey Online Casinos Hit High, Poker Sinks Lower
Every month, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement releases the revenue totals from the previous month. For those watching internet gaming performances and trends, the overall win is always positive, as the industry grows consistently by leaps and bounds.
The tough part of the monthly viewing is the breakdown of online casino games alongside online poker. While casino games, including slots and table games, grow in popularity on an impressive basis, online poker revenue has been decreasing regularly for well over one year. In the past several years, poker fluctuations based on promotions and interstate liquidity have turned into a sadly consistent downswing.
As the industry celebrates the entirety of online gaming in New Jersey as a shining example of what other states could add to their gambling revenue repertoires, online poker has become a disappointingly small part of that larger picture.
Let’s take a look at the numbers for November.
Ups and Downs
Starting with the positive, the online slot and table games, classified as “other authorized games” under the internet gaming category, set another new record. The monthly revenue grew slightly, but the year-on-year increase hit 35% with the total setting yet another record. The numbers speak for themselves.
–November 2018 total online casino win: $25,382,434
–October 2018 total online casino win: $25,100,132
–November 2017 total online casino win: $18,800,417
–Month-on-month: 1.1% increase
–Year-on-year: 35% increase
Congratulations to NJ! Online gaming has shown to be a winner for land-based casinos, players and the state! pic.twitter.com/J8LowmlMUg
— iDEA Growth (@iDEA_Growth) December 14, 2018
And then, there was the online poker revenue, listed as “peer-to-peer” internet gaming. That number for November was lower than last month, more significantly lower than the same time last year, and set a new record low that hasn’t been seen since the launch of online poker in New Jersey five years ago.
–November 2018 online poker win: $1,561,639
–October 2018 online poker win: $1,653,746
–November 2017 online poker win: $1,809,799
–Month-on-month: 5.6% decrease
–Year-on-year: 13.7% decrease
When it’s put together, it remains a significant internet gaming win for New Jersey and another solid boost for the entire casino industry in the state.
–November 2018 total online gaming win: $26,944,073
–October 2018 total online gaming win: $26,753,878
–November 2017 total online gaming win: $20,610,216
–Month-on-month: 0.7% increase
–Year-on-year: 30.7% increase
Even with the poker slump, the rest of the online gaming revenue did so well that it still maintained more than a 30% increase from the previous year.
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Online Poker?
(When sung to the tune of the The Sound of Music classic song, it lightens the mood.)
Seriously, though, online poker is a problem. Originally, experts believed that interstate poker liquidity would be the answer, but that has yet to show much promise. With only one site in Delaware and one in Nevada, liquidity has only pertained to one operator thus far and not improved the overall numbers too significantly.
Pennsylvania will be different, as several sites will be able to share player pools and bring some life to the games. However, the Pennsylvania sites have yet to launch, and there is not even a testing date established for early 2019 yet. Even if the sites begin accepting players in the first half of the new year, it will take some time to sign a multi-state agreement, much less plan for the cross-border play and launch it. The earliest for Pennsylvania to join the interstate network would be 2020.
Meanwhile, it is wildly clear that the online poker sites operating in New Jersey are riding high on their internet casino revenue, not addressing the huge poker elephant in the room. For more than a year, the problem has been becoming more serious, but there have been no public attempts to address it.
When the final 2018 numbers are in next month, it will be time to get honest and have a very serious talk with the US online poker industry.
will be interesting to see if 2019 – six years after NJ and DE jumped in – is finally the year that online poker is revived on a widespread basis in US https://t.co/CwEgUuWoaQ
— John Brennan (@BergenBrennan) December 3, 2018
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