Online poker operators in New Jersey reported $1.8 million in revenue for the month of August 2018. The figures released by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) show that the online poker market in New Jersey continues to be in a state of decline.
On a year-to-year basis, last month’s revenue total represents the lowest amount recorded during the month of August since the market opened. In fact, all but two months this year have produced the lowest revenue amounts (compared to the same month in previous years) in the market’s five-year history.
Those two exceptions came during May—the first month that WSOP.com was able to combine player pools with its online poker room in Nevada—and June, when the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas was in full swing.
With the traffic for online poker in Nevada largely impacted by the influx of people who visit the state during the summer to play poker at land-based casinos, it is apparent why revenue surged in those two months. However, the lack of year-over-year increases in subsequent months should not be viewed as an indication that shared liquidity is ineffective.
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The Results of Online Poker Shared Liquidity in New Jersey
Ever since shared liquidity launched in New Jersey, the licensees authorized to offer online poker under the Caesars license have combined to rise up from the bottom of the market to the top and have held that position for four months running.
All of Caesars’ licensees operate on the All-American Poker Network (AAPN)—the platform provided by 888 that hosts the 888 poker room in New Jersey, WSOP.com in New Jersey and Nevada, and three online poker rooms in Delaware branded with the names of their land-based racino partners. Currently, the AAPN is the online poker network in the country that is able to leverage the cross-border liquidity rules that have been put into place as a result of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA).
Still, the success of the AAPN has not been enough to lift the New Jersey market out of its downswing. Despite Caesars’ licensees posting an average year-over-year increase of nearly 42% over the four months since they were allowed to connect New Jersey to Nevada and Delaware, the other operators have continued to experience significant declines.
The Shared Liquidity Pool in the US is Still Too Small
The total online poker market in New Jersey has only produced one month out of the last 18 in which revenue has surpassed the level it reached in the prior year.
To provide a little context around the $1.8 million in revenue generated by online poker last month, online casino games brought in almost $23 million (nearly 13 times what poker produced). Even online sports betting, which saw its first action in the Garden State last month, posted more revenue than online poker.
The recent addition of online sportsbooks to the igaming offerings in New Jersey generated $3.2 million in revenue in August, almost doubling the amount of revenue brought in by online poker.
Online Poker in Pennsylvania Will Be the Difference Maker for US Shared Liquidity
Once the online poker market in Pennsylvania gets off the ground, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will be tasked with making sure they provide a fertile environment for their online poker partners to succeed.
Though the population in Pennsylvania alone will produce the biggest online poker player pool available in the US, the market will not be able to reach its full potential without becoming a part of MISIGA.
And while the regulator has opted not to comment on the status of shared liquidity in the state, it is a matter of “when” Pennsylvania will begin cross-border liquidity sharing, not “if.”