PA iGaming Sets Record but US iPoker Down
The burgeoning United States online gambling industry is still finding its way. The pandemic year threw a wrench into everything, bringing revenue numbers to highs that were not very sustainable. As land-based casinos, racinos, and card rooms around the country are at or nearing full capacity again in the first half of 2021, online gaming operators are trying to navigate the new environment.
Online poker took the worst of the post-pandemic setbacks. It looked like the new players who took seats at the online tables for the first time during the pandemic might stick around, but most of them did not. Thus, online poker revenue in the US market seems just as stuck as it was prior to the pandemic.
Overall, the online gambling industry has shown its substantial benefits to land-based gambling establishments. The ability to fall back on internet revenue during a global pandemic not only provided a desperately-needed economic boost but also sustainable partnerships moving forward.
As a whole, the industry grows. For online poker, the same problems persist.
Here’s how the four states that report online gambling income fared in May.
Delaware: May 2021
This little state has shown what a difference online games can make. The market is small, with only three land-based racinos and one online poker platform shared among them (with different skins), but it makes its way quite nicely.
While online poker dipped notably in May, online table games and video lottery sales increased from April to May. All numbers dipped from the previous year, but May was one of the initial months of the pandemic lockdowns when people flocked to the online tables.
–May 2021 online poker rake & fees: $35,251.37
–April 2021 online poker: $38,222.03
–May 2020 online poker: $93,973.39
Month-on-month: 7.78% decrease
Year-on-year: 62.5% decrease
Delaware’s online lottery and table games grew enough to boost the whole sector from April to May, though it simply couldn’t stand up to the previous year’s action.
–May 2021 igaming revenue: $910,282.46
–April 2021 igaming: $874,012.18
–May 2020 igaming: $1,134,900.04
Month-on-month: 41.5% increase
Year-on-year: 19.8% increase
The Delaware Lottery saw an impressive uptick in May for new player registrations. After a tough month in April, there were 854 new registrations in May, a 44% monthly increase. And it couldn’t match the 2020 number of 993 for May, but it only dipped 14% year-on-year.
Michigan: May 2021
As usual, it is tough to track details about Michigan’s new online gambling industry. The Michigan Gaming Control Board does provide the big statistics and revenue numbers associated with each land-based casino. However, there is no separation of online poker from online slots and other casino games.
So, the industry has only been up and running in Michigan since January, and it’s still finding its way. There was a miniscule bit of growth from April to May, but it was an improvement from the last monthly difference.
–May 2021 internet gaming gross receipts: $94,851,552.09
–April 2021 igaming: $94,851,765.56
Month-on-month: 0.002% increase
Total adjusted gross receipts rose 0.22%, but internet gaming state tax payments increased by 1.6% to $18,102,212.90.
All we know about online poker is that BetMGM on the PartyPoker platform works with MGM Grant Detroit, and those total igaming gross receipts dropped 2%. PokerStars and Fox Bet partner with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and that total gross receipta number has dropped each month since March, with its April-to-May drop totaling 19%. However, there is no way to know how online poker contributes to those numbers positively or negatively.
Nevada: May 2021
Nevada has not and does not report its online poker revenue. They will be required to do so if and when three or more sites operate in Nevada, but currently, the WSOP is the only viable online site in that state.
New Jersey: May 2021
May was a good month for New Jersey. Almost every sector of the state’s gaming industry grew from April to May – even online poker grew a tiny bit. Sports wagering revenue dipped 3.5%, but all of the other increases put the total on the upswing.
The most significant growth for NJ gambling came in the land-based casinos, as Covid restrictions eased and more people felt comfortable returning to the gambling floors. And comparing those numbers to the previous year shows 100% growth because all establishments were closed completely in May 2020.
As for online poker, however, its May revenue was down nearly 50% from last year. To be fair, online poker was the only kind of poker allowed during the height of the pandemic, but it explains the massive year-on-year difference.
–May 2021 internet poker win: $2,407,871
–April 2021 internet poker: $2,406,541
–May 2020 internet poker: $4,516,529
Month-on-month: 0.05% increase
Year-on-year: 46.7% decrease
Again, the full igaming sector exceeded $100M again in May. It looks as if this will be the new bar and should be surpassed every month going forward.
–May 2021 internet gaming win: $108,170,558
–April 2021 internet gaming: $107,749,608
–May 2020 internet gaming: $85,939,942
Month-on-month: 0.4% increase
Year-on-year: 25.9% increase
It appears that land-based gambling and internet casino games will continue pushing the entire gambling industry up in New Jersey in the coming months.
Pennsylvania: May 2021
The rise back to normal has been a bit slower in Pennsylvania, but players are getting back to the brick-and-mortar casinos slowly but surely. And while people do return to live play, they are also still logging on to internet gaming sites in bigger numbers. April took a bit of a dip, but May saw many areas of growth.
Retail tables revenue dipped by a small amount, and VGTs and fantasy contests showed the same small dips. But sports wagering saw growth, with all parts of igaming up much more significantly. Even online poker gained ground in May.
–May 2021 internet poker revenue: $2,603,430
–April 2021 internet poker: $2,372,127
–May 2020 internet poker: $4,596,418
Month-on-month: 9.8% increase
Year-on-year: 12.5% decrease
The total igaming sector rose after an unusual dip in April. And it rose so much as to put the monthly total over $100M for the first time.
–May 2021 internet gaming revenue: $101,251,771
–April 2021 igaming: $92,676,448
–May 2020 igaming: $55,838,787
Month-on-month: 9.3% increase
Year-on-year: 81.33% increase
The steady climb for igaming as a whole in Pennsylvania mimics what has been happening in New Jersey for years. And with Pennsylvania’s population so much greater than that of New Jersey, the former may overtake the latter in 2021 and soar well beyond in the years to come.