After months of flat revenue numbers, online poker spiked again in December in New Jersey. The pandemic has forced many poker rooms to close in 2020 and players looked to trusted online poker sites for action.
2020 proved to be the biggest online poker year since the launch of legal markets in the US. With Michigan online poker likely launching sometime this year, the US online poker market is seeing some progress for the first time in years.
New Jersey achieves massive month
The Garden State reported $3.02 million in online poker revenue for December. August was the last time real money New Jersey online poker reached that number.
All three online poker operators recorded month-over-month gains. New Jersey online poker operators include:
- WSOP.com/888poker (Caesars Entertainment)
- PokerStars (Resorts Casino)
- partypoker US Network (Borgata/MGM)
WSOP.com holds onto the top spot and remains the only shared player pool in the US with Nevada and Delaware. That gives the platform an upper hand in driving player and prize pools.
The operator reported $1.1 million in revenue for December, up from $958,481 in November. The site looks to hold that lead with the Winter Online Super Circuit underway and running through Jan. 31.
The partypoker US Network regained the second spot after sitting at the bottom for months. Partypoker reported $1.1 million in revenue for the month, an increase from $701,546 in November.
The site benefited from a World Poker Tour online series in December. The $3,500 buy-in WPT Online Poker Open ran Dec. 27–29 with a $1 million guarantee. This was the first Main Tour online event ever held in the US.
That tournament attracted 395 entries and topped the guarantee by posting a $1.2 million prize pool. It seems likely additional major partypoker events are in store for New Jersey players in 2021.
PokerStars took third for the month, but still saw growth from the previous month. The site reported $774,039, a small increase from November’s $736,590.
Online gaming continues to surge
Overall, online casinos in NJ had the best revenue month on record at $99.4 million. The state’s online gaming operators reported a 4.8% increase from November. New Jersey online casino revenue in 2020 was up 101.6% from the previous year.
Almost one-third of this revenue stream comes from Golden Nugget, NJ’s top online casino. Golden Nugget brought in almost $30 million.
In total, NJ casinos produced $33.9 million in gaming tax revenue for the state in December. Gaming taxes represent 8% of taxable casino gross revenue and 15% of Internet gaming gross revenue
NJ poker rooms slowly reopening
Players in the Garden State looking for live poker in Atlantic City at least now have one more option. The Borgata has been dealing live poker for the last few months, but Harrah’s also gotten back in the game.
Harrah’s also reopened eight-handed tables on Dec. 26. No other casinos have announced plans to reopen live poker rooms in Atlantic City so far.
Delaware online poker stays flat
While New Jersey online poker revenue experienced a big December, Delaware did not. The state reported online poker revenue of $36,013.
That’s down about 1% from November’s total of $36,471. However, like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the state has experienced historical highs since the pandemic in 2020.
Year over year, the state reported almost a 25% increase in poker revenue. All of the state’s live poker rooms are closed due to orders in place under Gov. John Carney (D). No plans have been announced to reopen yet.
Delaware online poker and casino gaming is operated by 888poker in partnership with the state’s live race tracks/casinos including:
- Delaware Park
- Dover Downs
- Harrington Casino and Raceway
Delaware Park continually holds the gold medal drawing the largest revenue in the state. This makes up about half of the state’s overall poker revenue.