FALLING INTO FALL: Online Poker Revenue Continues Decline, But Up Overall Year Over Year

Anthony Cicali III October 18, 2020
US Online poker revenue numbers continued to fall in September.

Online poker saw huge spikes during the COVID-19 pandemic in early spring when all live rooms were closed. That has edged downward in recent months and that included another slide in September.

Revenue numbers may have come down month, but overall online casino gaming also continues to grow.

Brick and mortar poker rooms are also reopening throughout the northeast. That could account for some decline in the monthly numbers.

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NJ numbers slide in September

The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement’s (NJDGE) revenue reports showed poker operators brought in $2.5 million in September. That’s down from the $3.1 million in August and continues a slide from a record-breaking peak of $5.1 million in April.

The positive angle is a 55.8% increase year over year for online poker in New Jersey for September. Currently there are three online poker operators in NJ:

WSOP.com remained at the top of the charts in September. The operator reported slightly over $1 million for the month. This was down from $1.3 million in August.

The site is partnered with Caesars in NJ. It’s the only regulated site in the country sharing liquidity among NJ and Nevada, and with 888poker in Delaware. 

Even though partypoker (along with the BorgataPoker.com and BetMGM skins) took second for the month, the company scored a victory. Partypoker slid up from third and showed a revenue increase month over month.

The site reported $781,912, up from $750,126 in August. In September, the operator joined forces with the World Poker Tour for the Online Borgata Series. The combined effort helped for an increase in monthly revenue.

PokerStars dropped to $767,272 in September, down from $971,811 in August and $1.1 million in July. Regularly finishing second in the market, the site looks to rebound in October. 

The New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) is running Oct. 10-25 with 54 events and a $1 million guarantee.

Live poker returning to Garden State

Poker rooms in the state have been closed since March. The Borgata recently announced it will be the first New Jersey casino to reopen live poker

In July, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) rescinded his executive order and allowed for the reopening of Atlantic City casinos. However, poker rooms remained closed.

The reopening of physical casinos in Atlantic City hasn’t deterred the growth of NJ online casino gaming. New Jersey reported huge revenue numbers again in September – bringing in $87.6 million.

The total represented a 113% year-over-year increase. This is the second-biggest month on record for online gaming in the Garden State

According to the NJDGE, the state brought in total gaming taxes of $32 million for September. Gaming taxes represent 8% of taxable casino gross revenue and 15% of Internet gaming gross revenue.

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Revenue dips in PA, WSOP.com moves to enter market

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported online poker revenue of $2.3 million in revenue in September. This was down from $2.7 million in August.

PokerStars partners with Mount Airy Casino in Pennsylvania. The property which became the first casino in the state to reopen its poker room on Friday.

The site just finished up the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP). The championship event ran into October, which may help with next month’s revenue report.

The state tax on online poker is 14% and the commonwealth benefited from tax revenue of $332,646 in September. 

PokerStars’ monopoly in the state may be coming to a close soon. The PGCB recently approved 888 Holdings for a  gaming license in Pennsylvania.

888poker is WSOP.com’s software partner and Caesars was already approved by the PGCB earlier this year. An official WSOP.com launch in PA hasn’t been announced yet.  

However, WSOP.com has already launched pages outlining some of what is planned. USPoker will continue to update this when more is known.

Delaware online poker dips slightly

The Delaware Lottery reported online poker in the first state totaled $51,403 in September. Those results are slightly down from $54,584 in August and $62,603 in July.

Delaware Park holds the trophy in the state by accounting for half of the poker revenue.

All Delaware online poker is operated through the 888poker platform. The site runs a shared player pool through Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Casinos.

The state’s players benefit from being part of the WSOP.com shared liquidity pool with players in Nevada and NJ.

Delaware live rooms are still down because of Coronavirus pandemic closures. 

Gov. John Carney’s (D) reopening plan allows for casinos to open limited hours and occupancy. Under his order, live poker rooms remained closed however. 

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