Summary: Online poker has been doing poorly in New Jersey, with September and October resulting in low earnings and player traffic.
Online poker has yet to become as popular in the state of New Jersey when compared to online casino gaming. Since online gaming launched in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware in 2013, online casino numbers have continually grown, while poker has fell to the wayside. Players seem to be drawn to casino games and while they are taking part in poker gaming, the numbers are less than stellar. In New Jersey, online poker continues to fall flat, with revenue numbers dwindling and online events failing to meet prize pool guarantees.
Online Poker Traffic
For September, the Division of Gaming Enforcement released the financial report for the state’s online poker industry, which showed a big dip in earnings. Only $1.6 million was generated for the month, with the Borgata network earning the most at $399,978. This is an almost 37% decrease from the online poker earnings in September 2017.
Players just seem to not be interested in online poker gaming and instead, are opting to play slots and table games. Even major events cannot seem to generate enough traffic to increase revenues, much less reach guaranteed prize pools.
This month, the partypoker NJ Garden State Super Series finished up its Fall Edition with two events failing to reach their guaranteed prize pools. The online poker operator decided to increase their total prize pools but this still did not attract players as one might expect.
The GSSS was set to offer 24 events with a total of $450,000 in guaranteed prize money up for grabs. The Main Event of any series is usually the most anticipated and this one was set to offer nice value. The guaranteed prize pool was $100,000 with players having a moderately low buy-in of $320. With only 274 entries, the site had to pick up quite a bit of cash to reach the $100,000 prize pool.
The $1,060 High Roller event had a guaranteed prize pool of $50,000 and also failed to meet the guarantee. Partypoker had to come up with extra funds for both of these events, which was not anticipated.
The traffic numbers are just not getting to where they need to be when it comes to online poker gaming. It seems no matter what operators try, they cannot seem to be able to generate enough traffic to push the industry to the next level.
Can Pennsylvania Help?
For years now, only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware offered online poker gaming. Hopefully before the year ends, Pennsylvania will join in. The state legalized online poker and casino gaming in late 2017, set to offer the online gaming options possibly before the year ends. Many are wondering that once online poker starts in the state, it if will help the others to see better traffic numbers.
Interstate compacts are allowed in Pennsylvania, so analysts expect that players will be pooled in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which could help NJ to see larger traffic with their online poker gaming. New Jersey already works with Nevada and Delaware but due to lower populations, the end result has been underwhelming. Hopefully, sharing liquidity with Pennsylvania, a larger state, will help to bring in more players for the online poker industry and the state will see a nice turnaround, one that is long overdue.