Revenue figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) on Wednesday show that the partnership between WSOP.com and 888.com experienced its worst month for online poker since launching in the regulated market back in 2013.
The two online poker rooms operate under the same New Jersey license and share some liquidity from cash games and tournaments. Caesars Interactive Entertainment reported just $858,845 in revenue from rake taken from online poker cash games and fees paid by players entering online poker tournaments. The previous low for CIE was $880,780 in November 2014.
Traditionally, online poker traffic declines between March and April, so the decrease last month was to be expected; however, CIEs competitors, Borgata Poker and partypoker, who both operate on the partypoker network under the Borgata license, posted a better-than-average month.
The Borgata/partypoker partnership reported $1,126,444 in revenue for the month of April. That figure represents only an 8.4% decline from the previous month, while CIE lost nearly 14% of its revenue from March.
According to cash game traffic figures published in Poker Industry PRO and provided by PokerScout.com, the combination of WSOP.com and 888.com outperformed the Borgata/partypoker partnership in April. However, April was a big month for tournaments on the partypoker network as it hosted the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker II (NJCOP) with $1 million in guaranteed prizes pools.
WSOP.com also hosted an online poker tournament series in April—the Spring Poker Series (SPS), but overall the series was much smaller than the NJCOP with only $100,000 in guaranteed money for its players. The site also hosted the New Jersey Turnpike series which featured smaller buy-ins presumably aimed at beginners.
There is something to learn from the marketing surrounding WSOP’s Texas Hold ‘em tournaments. Larger guaranteed prize pools attract more players than the less risky smaller buy-in tournaments.
Next April, expect to see the prize pools offered by Borgata/partypoker and WSOP.com to be closer in size.