888poker Exiting New Jersey 888poker Exiting New Jersey

It was reported by Poker Industry PRO on Monday that UK-based 888 Holdings plans to shut down its New Jersey online poker room on June 3. 888casino NJ will also close on that day, according to PRO.

The news that 888poker NJ will soon be history isn’t particularly surprising for a few reasons, which we explain here.

Although it is very disappointing that online poker players in the Garden State will have one less option to choose from, there is some good news — none of this will affect WSOP or the three-state online poker network that it appears to be building across Michigan, Nevada, and New Jersey.

Here is everything you need to know about the 888poker NJ departure:

What’s this all about?

888poker NJ is going to close on June 3. That’s according to players and others familiar with official communications from 888. It should be noted that the company hasn’t made a formal announcement yet.

That’s disappointing 😕. Was this expected?

Yeah, this has been brewing for some time. You may recall that 888 came out in early March to say that it would conduct a strategic review of its B2C operations in the US. By the end of the month, it had announced a sale of those operations to Hard Rock Digital (HRD), the gaming company of the Seminole Tribe.

Will there be a replacement?

No. HRD’s igaming platform, Hard Rock Bet, is already live in the Garden State with casino gaming and sports betting, but it doesn’t support online poker. The Seminole Tribe hasn’t expressed any interest in offering a real money online poker product.

So, if you’re an active player on 888poker NJ, you will need to withdraw any funds you have left in your account by June 3. There will be nothing for you to transfer funds too — 888casino NJ is shutting down, too. Get your money out.

Will this affect WSOP 😳?

No, there will be minimal change from all of this. 888poker NJ shared a partial player pool with players on WSOP NJ and WSOP NV. They shared a cash game player pool, but 888 ran a segregated pool for tournaments.

It should be noted that all of this is happening as WSOP makes final preparations to a long-awaited upgrade of its software in Nevada and New Jersey. Once those upgrades to Poker 8 software are completed, the operator will be able to connect WSOP Michigan (which is already running the new software) and create a three-state network of MI-NJ-NV.

Got it. Was 888poker NJ a big operator?

No, not at all — in terms of monthly revenue it was by far the smallest. In March, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) said it would start providing revenue data by operator, starting with data from January. Turns out 888poker hasn’t cracked $20k for monthly revenue so far this year, and in March it only held about two-thirds of one percent of the NJ online poker market.

When was the last time New Jersey lost an online poker operator?

It’s been awhile — nearly a decade, actually. The last time any regulated real money online poker operators formally exited the Garden State was September 2014, after two Trump-branded casinos in Atlantic City filed for bankruptcy. Ultimate Poker closed the online poker room it had opened under the Trump Taj Mahal license while Betfair, which had a dormant online poker room on the Trump Plaza Casino license, never opened their poker room.

Another operator, Pala Poker, had a license to operate in New Jersey, but its website is currently offline and it appears to have exited the market in a less-formal manner.

Anything else I should know 👩‍🎓 ?

Here’s a fun fact: After 888poker NJ shuts down and WSOP upgrades its online poker rooms in Nevada and New Jersey to 888’s newer Poker 8 software, you won’t be able to find the older “classic” version of 888 software anywhere in North America. That’s because 888 took down the poker rooms it ran in Delaware via three racinos in late December. 888poker Ontario also uses Poker 8.