The two newest online poker operators in Pennsylvania grew their revenue in June and continued to chip away at PokerStars PA’s lead in market share, albeit slowly.
But increased revenue from BetMGM PA and Borgata PA were not enough to offset lower earnings from PokerStars. Consequently, revenue from the state’s three online poker rooms fell 7% month-on-month to $2.4 million, data from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) show.
However, PokerStars PA’s market share could decline further in July following the mid-month entrance of WSOP PA.
Overall poker revenue was down 25% year-to-year, but that figure indicates the market is stabilizing: By comparison, the market was off 43.5% year-to-year in May and 55% in April. The market continues to lap the spike in online poker interest during the first coronavirus wave last year.
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BetMGM, Borgata Continue to Grow
BetMGM and its Hollywood Casino partner had $325k in revenue in June, up from $279k the month prior. The operator also grew its market share to 13.5%, up from 10.5%.
Meanwhile, revenue from Borgata and its Rivers-Philadelphia partner was $79k, up from $67k. Borgata’s market share increased to 3.3%, up from 2.5%.
The pair of newcomers, which both entered the market in April, have combined to form a single player pool running on partypoker software to take on PokerStars.
Although both operators officially jumped into the market in April, their numbers for that month are considered preliminary because their soft launch occurred three days before the end of the month and took place mid-week, not over a weekend.
Revenue Slides for PokerStars
While PokerStars and its Mount Airy partner continued to dominate the space, it lost market share and saw lower earnings in June. PokerStars had $2 million in revenue and held 83.3% of the market in June, down from $2.2 million and 86.7% in May.
PokerStars’ revenue declined for the sixth consecutive month and was at its lowest point since February 2020. It was also the operator’s third-lowest month in terms of online poker revenue and market share.
To date, both PokerStars and the state’s online poker market peaked between March and July of 2020, coinciding with pandemic lockdowns and a surge in interest in the game. The peak hit $5.3 million in April 2020.
WSOP PA Arrives
After months of anticipation, WSOP PA finally arrived in the Keystone State on July 12, the first day of a soft launch period where PGCB officials tested the operator’s systems. A full launch took place on July 16.
WSOP PA will offer poker to players through the land-based casino license of Harrah’s Philadelphia casino and its partnership with UK gaming giant 888. Both the casino and the WSOP brand are owned by Caesars.
The launch marked the first time that US players could use 888’s new Poker 8 software, a significant upgrade from the company’s classic 888 desktop and mobile apps. Poker 8 also allows concurrent play at up to four tables, and Omaha games have been set up to work on the mobile app. The upgrade includes new table themes, avatars, animations and sound effects, as well as revamped functionality and site navigation.
Like its counterparts in the state, WSOP PA is only available to players physically located in Pennsylvania. The state’s player pool will remain ring-fenced until Pennsylvania either forms or join an interstate compact like the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), which currently includes Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey. If Pennsylvania were to join the MSIGA, it would be a huge boost to the interstate 888/WSOP network, the only one of its kind operating in the US.
WSOP.com, known to offer generous promotions, continued the practice with its entry into Pennsylvania. Shortly after the soft launch, the operator announced a $50,000 Depositor’s Freeroll and said it would award three tickets to this fall’s $10,000 Main Event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas.
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