What to Expect from New Jersey Online Poker in 2020 What to Expect from New Jersey Online Poker in 2020

Online poker in NJ generated more than $1.8 million in revenue during the first month of 2020, according to figures released by the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The poker rooms that comprise the All-American Poker Network (AAPN)—WSOP NJ and 888poker—maintained their status as the market leaders pulling in $718k in revenue, good for a 39% market share.

PokerStars NJ followed closely with $635k in revenue, representing 35% of the market, and the rooms on the partypoker network (BetMGM, partypoker NJ and Borgata Poker) reported $479k—accounting for 26% of the market.

Predictably, January’s revenue exceeded the amounts collected in the past several months as traditionally it has been one of the high points of the year for New Jersey online poker.

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However, on an annual basis, the data indicates that the market continues to shrink, although at a noticeably slower rate. Online poker revenue for January 2020 fell 2.7% from the year prior, but that is the smallest year-on-year decline for January since the market opened in late 2013, with the exception of January 2017 during which revenue grew by 8.7% as a result of the buzz that surrounded the addition of PokerStars to the market.

The decline in January 2020 was the result of each of the networks experiencing a slower first month of the year. The AAPN was down 1% on 2019 and the partypoker network fell by 2% while PokerStars NJ suffered the biggest falloff, down 5%.

There is now more than six years of data about revenue generated from online poker in the state, and though there have been changing circumstances throughout the years that have impacted the market, many trends have held true.

New Jersey Online Poker Trends Expected to Continue in 2020

Though still showing signs of decline, the New Jersey online poker market appears to be slowly stabilizing as for the most part, the intensity of the down months has softened, and the frequency of rising moths has grown over the past two years.

Barring any major changes to the landscape of the market (including a resolution to the Wire Act case), expect 2020 to perform more like 2019 on a relative basis (single digit annual declines in the down months and multiple months of growth) than 2018 (double digit annual declines and only a single month of growth).

On an absolute basis, this trend would keep total online poker revenue for the year above the $20 million mark.

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Though monthly revenue figures are more susceptible to changes by the operators—such as when/if an online poker tournament series runs or the success of a particular promotion—here are some observations about the amount of revenue generated in the market—many of which will likely recur in 2020.

  • As we have already seen, January always outperforms December.
  • February will provide less revenue than January.
  • March will be bigger than February and probably bigger than January (true 3 of the last 4 years)
  • April will see a big drop off, probably generating less revenue than February. 2016 was an exception to this trend with April being the biggest month of the year at that point due to the return of PokerStars to the US just weeks prior.
  • Revenue will rebound in May and be on par with February totals. Again, the launch of PokerStars disrupted this trend in 2016.
  • Due to the World Series of Poker action in Nevada and the WSOP online events in New Jersey boosting revenue for AAPN, June could exceed May’s revenue figures this year for the first time in market history.
  • July has out-gained June every year. Expect that to be the case once again in 2020.
  • August used to be bigger than July, but due to the increased action from the WSOP in Nevada, that trend has reversed over the last 2 years. Expect August to be lower than July again in 2020.
  • September will contend for the lowest month of the year.
  • October usually provides a slight uptick with 2014 being the only time we saw October report a sequential drop in revenue.
  • November will be another contender for lowest month of the year.
  • December will provide a nice rebound to round out 2020.