New Jersey Online Poker Continues to Dip
New Jersey has an online poker problem.
Technically, it’s not a serious problem, as poker continues to bring in additional revenue each month, to the tune of at least $1.7 million. The issue is that the revenue has been on a nearly continuous decline for more than a year.
The other reason it’s not a serious concern for New Jersey is because of the continued success and growth of the online casino games division. The revenue from all online gaming – with the exception of poker – has been on a significant upswing for years, and it does not seem to be slowing much in 2018.
The question that no one is answering remains the same: What is happening to NJ online poker?
Online Poker Flunks February
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has released its statistics for February 2018, and the internet poker revenue drop simply cannot be ignored. Sometimes, it’s just best to get the bad news out of the way first.
For most months in 2017, online poker revenue dipped each month. January 2018 numbers showed a slight increase – less than one percent – but it brought a bit of hope that the bleeding had stopped and poker was going to stabilize. That was wrong, to put it mildly.
—February 2018 win: $1,772.988
—January 2018 win: $1,950,696
—February 2017 win: $2,170,427
—Month-on-month: 9.1% decrease
—Year-on-year: 18.3% decrease
Of course, there were fewer days in February than in January, but that difference doesn’t explain the drastic yearly decrease.
Poker does continue to contribute to the overall online gaming revenue for New Jersey, but the continuing decreases do not bode well for legalization and licensing in other states.
Online Gaming Keeps Soaring Higher
In contrast to the poker sector, the online casino games – including other table games and slots – saw another month of growth in February. While some predicted a lower rate of growth in 2018 due to an inevitable leveling off of the market, that has not yet happened.
—February 2018 online casino win: $20,219,136
—January 2018 online casino win: $20,011,643
—February 2017 online casino win: $16,551,663
—Month-on-month: 1% increase
—Year-on-year: 18.1% increase
As for the overall internet gaming numbers, growth is still significant enough from the previous year.
—February 2018 internet gaming win: $21,992,124
—January 2018 internet gaming win: $21,962,339
—February 2017 internet gaming win: $18,722,090
—Month-on-month: 0.1% increase
—Year-on-year: 14.9% increase
Needless to say, poker’s downswings hurt the total internet gaming numbers.
Same Song, Different Month
There are significant problems with the online poker drops, not the least of which is the harm it can do to state legislatures that are willing to consider poker and not the rest of the internet gaming package. California may not be in the mood to chat about anything related to online gaming this year, but New York is one of the states most likely to make a move in 2018. But if they examine the poker numbers apart from the rest of the internet gaming win, will they still want to invest time and effort into building an industry from a game that seems to be losing popularity steadily?
Of course, as can be said again, the 2017 interstate online poker liquidity sharing agreement should relaunch sometime in 2018 with New Jersey joining Nevada and Delaware. The combined sites will initially – and for the foreseeable future – consist of only WSOP and 888poker, but any combined success from the liquidity can be seen as a bright spot for the game and the industry overall. However, there has been no word from any of the three states or the operators as to when the network might be available.