New Jersey Online Poker Continues Downswing
New Jersey has an online poker problem. The monthly revenue numbers from the Division of Gaming Enforcement show revenue down yet again from the previous month and year. As the industry awaits the implementation of shared poker liquidity among the three – soon to be four – states with legalized online poker, New Jersey sites remain stuck in an inability to attract new players and retain existing ones.
Meanwhile, the online gambling industry in New Jersey as a whole continues its hot streak. October proved to be the tenth straight month of gross online gaming revenue in excess of $20 million and already broke the annual revenue record.
List of Achievements Grows
Online gaming has shown substantial and lasting growth in 2017, and October contributed to that trend by showing more than $20.5 million in revenue for poker and other authorized internet casino games. That amount represents a 23.4% increase over October of 2016 and the tenth straight month of revenues surpassing $20 million.
Even better is the total revenue for 2017 thus far of $204 million, which represents a 26.7% increase over the same point in 2016. And the total surpassing $200 million for the year already blows past the complete annual revenue for 2016, which was less than $197 million. With two more months left to tally results for 2017, the industry is poised to show immense growth overall in the past year.
New Jersey's Legal Online Gambling Industry Surpasses $200 Million Milestone For 2017, Setting Annual Revenue Record
Learn More: https://t.co/3r6BGBIECg
— Poker Alliance (@ppapoker) November 15, 2017
Statistics Don’t Lie
The numbers released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show a mixed bag for October, though the overall numbers are very positive.
As for online casino revenue alone, minus online poker, the numbers were up for the month and the year.
Online casino revenue in October 2017: $18,633,480
Online casino revenue in September 2017: $18,489,533
Online casino revenue in October 2016: $14,276,136
Month-on-month increase of .7%
Year-on-year increase of 23.4%
Poker continued its downswing in October. By looking at the numbers on the surface, there is a slight increase month over month, but this does not account for fewer days in September.
Revenue in October 2017: $1,934,145
Revenue in September 2017: $1,902,249
Revenue in October 2016: $2,389,752
Month-on-month increase of 1.6%
Year-on-year decrease of 19.1%
When the numbers are put together, the year-on-year increase is still very positive.
Online gaming revenue in October 2017: $20,567,625
Online gaming revenue in October 2016: $16,665,888
Year-on-year increase of 19%
Online Poker Needs a Boost
The boost that New Jersey needs is coming in the form of shared online poker liquidity with Nevada and Delaware, though it appears that only 888-WSOP will benefit at the beginning. It is also unclear when the shared network will launch or how other sites may find ways to join the fray by launching operations in Nevada or Delaware.
And with Pennsylvania now preparing to launch its own online casino and poker industry, there is a great likelihood that it will also join the interstate liquidity project and boost the numbers even further.
Pennsylvania becomes fourth U.S. state to legalize online poker
after nevada, new jersey, deleware and now penn pic.twitter.com/BXJ4TuMTIe
— SALAH, BALE AND TERRY (@itessa123) November 4, 2017
However, this ignores a serious problem with online poker in and of itself. While most of the New Jersey market is thriving and continuously attracting more customers, the sites have not been able to mimic that success. Of course, the profits from poker as a peer-to-peer game rely on rake while online slots and table games allow the house to collect profits, but poker used to be a wildly popular game, one that had players around the world scrambling to make time to play, improve skills, and take a shot at a professional career. The global nature of the game has been broken by individual country governments and new restrictive regulations, but this may also have destroyed some of the passion for the game as well. And small markets like New Jersey are not able to rekindle players’ former romance with poker.
A shared market may be able to address that issue in part, as cross-state marketing could spur some growth and entice players with more cash games and larger tournaments. However, poker operators hoping for success in the United States are going to have to take a look at what can be done to bring back some of the excitement of the game. That may include entirely new marketing tactics, creating an appeal to new demographics, and intertwining live and online poker more closely to resemble its prior successful pairing.
The launch of a shared market may entice online poker operators to take those steps.
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