The Delaware Lottery has published the revenue results from February which show a 16% fall in poker rake and fees. The four months of figures now available provide a picture of how each of the three licensees is doing in the market.
The amount wagered on table games in February doubled from January’s $1.1m to $2.2m producing net proceeds of $65k. Adding in the $27k of video lottery revenues (slots) produced a total of $92k, which meant that poker’s proceeds of $74k now represent just 44% of the total. That compares with the 76% produced by poker in December’s figures.
The global market hit a peak on January 9, but the Delaware Lottery revenue figures show that Delaware’s market reached its high point some time in December. Projected of revenues of $3.75m forecast before the market opened now look extremely optimistic.
Delaware Park, Harrington and Dover Downs are the casino/racetrack—“racino”—operators with permission to operate online poker, all through the same 888 powered software. They share liquidity, but each operate their own branding and marketing.
The clear leader in the poker market is Delaware Park, which has garnered 62% of the online poker revenues. It marketed effectively in month one, back in November, registering 1480 players, whereas Dover Downs registered 772 and Harrington 402. Delaware Park’s early efforts have slowed—in February it registered just 293 new players, only slightly ahead of Dover Down’s 264.
In a state with a population of under a million people, online poker liquidity was always going to be a problem. Delaware has sought to overcome the issue by signing the first ever interstate compact to share its player pool with Nevada. New Jersey, which has a border with Delaware, may have seemed the natural partner, but political agendas have as yet, failed to coordinate.
There is no firm date for the new agreement to be implemented and in any case, at the moment 888’s All American Poker Network (AAPN) does not have a room in Nevada with which Delaware could share. WSOP.com uses 888 software, but outside of the AAPN network. Delaware’s figures look set to continue at their low level until something changes to give players the liquidity necessary to make online poker attractive.