US Online Poker Continues With Historic Highs in March, NJ Sees Nice Increase

Anthony Cicali III April 20, 2021
US Online Poker Continues With Historic Highs in March, NJ Sees Nice Increase

The US saw huge spikes in online gaming a year ago due to the Coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. One year later, those numbers remain strong and online poker experienced a nice monthly gain in March in New Jersey and slight decline in Pennsylvania.

The past year has been good for US regulated online poker. Online numbers remain stable and at highs unseen before the pandemic. 

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New Jersey sees year over year casino gains

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) reports that NJ online poker revenue was up about 9% month over month. Online operators brought in revenue of $2.7 million for March, up from $2.48 million in February.

Three online poker platforms currently operate in the Garden State including:

WSOP.com barely hung on to the top spot with $988,525, up from $955,000 in February. The Online Circuit Series has helped WSOP.com’s monthly totals. The platform continues to share liquidity with Nevada and 888poker in Delaware. 

The partypoker US Network is inching up the leaderboard in the state and had a nice month-over-month gain. Partypoker posted $957,375, an increase of almost 20% from February.

The site has recently partnered with LearnWPT and is hosting live streamed final tables. Partypoker seems to be gaining momentum in New Jersey.

PokerStars was stuck in third place again, but did see an increase month over month. PokerStars reported $754,021 in March, up from $728,945 in February.

New Jersey poker players still have few options for live poker. Borgata and Harrah’s remain the only two live poker rooms open to the public in Atlantic City.

Online gaming has $100 million dollar month in New Jersey

March revenue for NJ Internet gaming as a whole came to $113.7 million. That’s nearly double from last March

Borgata overtook Golden Nugget as NJ’s top online casino. Golden Nugget online has consistently reported top numbers monthly for online casino revenue. In March, Borgata brought in $36.1 million compared to $31.7 million for Golden Nugget. 

NJ casinos posted $37.7 million in gaming tax revenue for the state. Gaming taxes represent 8% of taxable casino gross revenue and 15% of Internet gaming gross revenue.

Pennsylvania online poker sees small decrease for March

Real money online poker in Pennsylvania brought in $2.4 million in March 2021 according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). This represented a 4% decrease from February’s $2.5 million.

The PGCB reported that March tax revenue generated from online poker alone accounted for over $350,00 for the state.

With no formal announcements about launching from WSOP.com or partypoker US Network, PokerStars remains king in PA. Stars is the only legal online poker option for players in the Keystone State. 

Even though PokerStars is the only game in town, the operator continues to build its brand. The company recently announced the signing of two Pennsylvania-based Twitch streamers as ambassadors. 

Players in PA await the arrival of other online poker operators. On Feb. 10, the  PGCB approved a manufacturer’s license for NSUS, the parent company of GGPoker. There has been speculation how and when GGPoker might launch in the state. 

Pennsylvania casinos and poker rooms are now mostly all reopened. The reemergence of live poker hasn’t drastically affected the online arena for PokerStars. 

Currently there are seven live poker rooms open. No poker rooms have announced plans for major live tournament events however.

Poker rooms are primarily running cash games and following state COVID-19 guidelines. This includes hand sanitizer stations, required masks, and tables with Plexiglass dividers. Most games are seven-handed with no food allowed at the tables. The following rooms are open:

  • Parx Casino
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort
  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia 
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
  • Meadows Racetrack and Casino
  • Philadelphia Live Casino

iGaming continues to soar in PA

Online casino gaming in Pennsylvania continues to boom. The state has been setting monthly revenue numbers of late with another coming in March.

All forms of gaming including fantasy contests reached $403 million in March revenue. That’s a 162% increase compared to March 2020.

March’s revenue banked over $4 million in tax revenue for the state. 

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Michigan sees online gaming growth

Online gaming operators in Michigan reported $95.1 million in revenue for March. That includes $32.3 million for sports betting from a handle of $359.5 million.

“It looks like March Madness added a bounce to the sports betting handle, which jumped 19.1 percent from February, and Internet gaming seemed to increase in popularity with monthly adjusted gross receipts going up 18 percent from February,” said Richard S. Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

“This led to increases in taxes and payments, which means more funding for the City of Detroit, K-12 education, economic development, and tribal communities.”

Online casino gaming in Michigan, including poker, came in at $62.8 million. The state doesn’t separate out statistics for online poker but there are currently two poker sites in Michigan:

  • PokerStars
  • BetMGM (part of the partypoker US Network)

BetMGM led the state in online gaming revenue as a whole with $30.8 million, followed by FanDuel with $18.9 million. MGM’s leading position may offer a chance to grow its online poker product in the state.

BetMGM launched online poker on March 22 and is working to gain ground on Stars.

Small decrease in Delaware for online poker

Delaware online poker saw a 9.3% decrease from February’s reported numbers. The state reported revenue of $36,711 for March 2021.

The First State reported a decrease from March 2020 as well. A year ago players were undergoing a Coronavirus lockdown. This saw a huge increase in numbers across the board.

The state’s online poker is operated by 888poker. Currently Delaware hosts three skins though the state’s racetrack casinos:

  • Delaware Park
  • Dover Downs
  • Harrington Casino and Raceway

Delaware Park held strong for the biggest winner in March by reporting $22,891. The park accounts for almost two-thirds of the poker revenue in the state. On a brighter note, Harrington online casino saw a small increase month over month.

Delaware continues to be one of the last states in the country to reopen live poker in casinos. The state’s poker rooms remain closed through April 2021 under Gov. John Carney’s (D) plans from 2020. No announcements have been made to reopen yet. 

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