Summary: Online poker has continued to struggle in the United States. Will the industry be successful in Pennsylvania once services are live?
Since 2013, online poker gaming has been offered in three states within the US; Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. Each state has offered the activity for five years but none have been able to see great success in their online poker offering. Players are not as drawn to iPoker as they are with online casino games and the numbers have shown this struggle. New Jersey has the largest online poker market in the US currently and they barely manage to hit the $1 million mark in revenue each month for the industry. With Pennsylvania set to offer online poker soon, along with online casino gaming, it has many wondering if there will be a turn around for poker in the new state.
Is Interest There?
If you go back to the early 2000s and think about the poker boom, when Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP after earning a seat from an online qualifier, the interest was there. Players wanted to be like Moneymaker so they got online to play cards for real money. However, a few years later, Black Friday took place and the options to play online poker became nonexistent.
It seems that the shift from the poker boom to no poker at all has led the US to suffer when it comes to online poker revenues today. New Jersey has top operators in the mix, from the WSOP/888 alignment to PokerStars, yet the industry continues to barely cross the $1 million mark time and time again. Neighboring Pennsylvania will be launching services soon and it was just announced that PokerStars will be operating in the state as well. So, now experts are considering if Pennsylvania’s online poker scene will be busy and if the industry will succeed. Because so far, no state has seen great success with online poker.
To put things in perspective, month after month, New Jersey brings in over $20 million a month in online casino revenues. This is from table games, slots and live dealer. Basically, the online casino industry in the state is bringing in $19 million or more A MONTH when compared to online poker. This is a huge difference.
Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement
To try and make things better, Nevada and Delaware created and joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement. New Jersey would take some time but they eventually joined in as well. Now with Pennsylvania about to offer online poker, they have also decided to join the group. Basically, poker operators pool players, allowing individuals from one state to take part in gaming in another state. The goal is to create more traffic for everyone.
With another state in the mix, we could see online poker revenues begin to climb, though in the beginning it may be slow going. PokerStars will most likely be the first to launch, which will be good because the brand is recognizable. We have learned that PokerStars is investing in customer acquisition in the region, hopefully bringing new players to Pennsylvania once gaming is launched.
Only time will tell what online poker will turn in to with another state in the mix. All eyes will be on Pennsylvania as they begin to offer online poker services and move forward with providing players in their state with both online poker and casino gaming options.