New Jersey Online Poker still Unimpressive in 2018
The story seems to repeat itself every month. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement releases its casino win information, including the numbers from online poker and casino games. The numbers break down the same way for online gambling, month after month, with casino game revenue increasing and online poker decreasing.
There seems to be no concerted effort to address the downward spiral of online poker in New Jersey. All hopes are pinned on the shared online poker liquidity agreement that will allow some merged player pools from New Jersey with Nevada and Delaware. However, considering WSOP/888poker is the only option in Nevada and Delaware, it will be the only site sharing players with New Jersey. Someone might want to come up with an alternative plan.
Meanwhile, let’s look at the numbers that were just released for January 2018.
Good News First: Online Gambling
The full internet gaming win includes both poker and casino games. They are separated as peer-to-peer (poker) and other authorized games (slots, baccarat, blackjack, etc.) for breakdown purposes.
First, the bigger picture includes all internet gaming:
- January 2018 gaming win: $21,962,339
- December 2017 gaming win: $20,757,645
- January 2017 gaming win: $18,820,098
- Month-on-month: 5% increase (adjusted for days, 5.8% increase)
- Year-on-year: 3% increase (adjusted for days, 16.7% increase)
The jumps for online casino games alone were even higher:
- January 2018 online casino win: $20,011,643
- December 2017 online casino win: $18,820,584
- January 2017 online casino win: $16,481,232
- Month-on-month: 6% increase (adjusted for days, 6.3% increase)
- Year-on-year: 6% increase (adjusted for days, 21.4% increase)
These are significant increases, as they were for nearly every month in 2017 as well. If this constant upswing continues, the New Jersey online gambling market will impress more than it has already and remain an extremely beneficial part of the new gambling market of the state.
Bad News Second: Online Poker
There has been little in the way of analysis regarding the nearly-constant decreasing of online poker revenue. They merely point to the online casino and overall gambling numbers as positive reflections of the industry, and poker has become a footnote. That footnote, though, is a shrinking one.
There is a very slight increase from December to January, but it says little unless there is another upswing next month. Meanwhile, it looks closer to stagnancy than improvement:
- January 2018 online poker win: $1,950,696
- December 2017 online poker win: $1,937,061
- January 2017 online poker win: $2,338,866
- Month-on-month: 7% increase
- Year-on-year: 6% decrease
The poker numbers are the reason that the online casino win shows a larger increase than the total internet gaming win. Poker still contributes to the industry as a whole, but the continued decreases are more than a little concerning.
Changes, They are a’ Comin’
As mentioned, the liquidity among the three states via shared online poker was authorized last year and is likely to be implemented in 2018. In the beginning and for the foreseeable future, only the WSOP/888poker project will be able to share tables across borders, though that liquidity will give analysts a solid idea of the potential that shared poker holds for the burgeoning US market.
Months after that agreement was signed, however, there has been no word from New Jersey about estimated launch date – or any progress whatsoever – for the sites.
In addition, there was speculation that Pennsylvania might join the liquidity network as well, but that new market is getting off to a very slow start. The licensing window is not set to open until April 2, which pushes the entire timetable for launching online poker and casino games in Pennsylvania out to late summer or early fall. And that’s a hopeful guess. With that in mind, there is little hope for Pennsylvania to join the liquidity project until at least 2019, after it gets the technology established, sites launched, and bugs eliminated.
The only plan for improving online poker in the new US market is the liquidity network. No other sites operating in New Jersey have addressed the poker depression whatsoever, so it is difficult to tell what the future may hold.