New Jersey online poker operators reported the lowest revenue total in market history last month, according to figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). The $1.6 million total from September represents an 11% annual decrease, a trend that has held true for 18 of the last 19 months.
However, not all online poker operators in New Jersey are contributing to the downward spiral. WSOP.com and 888poker, which comprise the All American Poker Network (AAPN), currently the only New Jersey online poker network that is able to share player liquidity with other states, reported a 19.5% annual increase last month.
In fact, the AAPN has reported year-over-year increases each month since it combined its player pools in New Jersey with those in Nevada and Delaware. Over the last five months the AAPN has averaged 37% increase over the same period in 2017.
In contrast, the other two leading online poker rooms in New Jersey, which lack the ability to share liquidity outside of the state, combined to average a decline of almost 27% each month over the same period. Because PokerStars NJ and the partypoker NJ network (which also includes Borgata Poker) do not have operations in the other two states that currently allow online poker, they continue to suffer from the market segregation.
Before shared liquidity was allowed in New Jersey in May 2018, the market was in a perpetual decline with only a few months of annual increases posted by individual operators scattered across the entire history of the market.
Pennsylvania is the Key to Online Poker Growth
When the AAPN opened up its New Jersey player pool to players in Nevada and Delaware, it exposed its products to an additional 4 million people, and that was enough to turn its declining operations around.
Pennsylvania offers a population of nearly 13 million people, a figure that would double those currently exposed to online poker in the three states have legalized the game.
Such a boost in potential customers would undoubtedly have a significant positive impact on online poker in the US. At this point, however, no date for the launch of the online poker market in Pennsylvania has been set yet, and no commitment to join the MultiState Internet Gaming Agreement has been made by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
Other Online Gaming in New Jersey Thriving
The ills of the online poker industry in New Jersey become even more apparent when compared to the new sports betting industry in the state which generated nearly $24 million in revenue last month, $12.6 million of which came from sports wagers placed over the internet.
Even the state of New Jersey made more money than online poker operators in the state—just from online sports betting. Tax revenue from internet sports bets totaled $1.63 million last month.
Online casino games continued to outperform poker last month, posting another record high with $24.1 million in revenue. 38% (or $9.3 million) of all the online casino revenue last month came through the sites operating under the Golden Nugget license.