NJ, PA Online Numbers Decrease in February Despite Overall Gaming Growth

Anthony Cicali III March 23, 2020
NJ and PA online poker revenue dipped in February.

February may have been a shorter month, but the numbers continue to trend upward for legal online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Real money online poker, however, took a small hit in February in those states.

Both showed a decline from January. Pennsylvania posted its lowest month to date for online poker with a 15% drop from the previous month.

However, these numbers should skyrocket in March, with players quarantined in their homes. Online tournament guarantees have already been getting crushed in recent days.

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A look at the online poker markets in NJ and PA

PokerStars continues to be the only site available for Pennsylvania online poker players at the moment. According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the operator produced $1.8 million in online poker revenue.

This number came close to New Jersey’s revenue total. The Garden State came in at about $1.8 million for February. That’s a drop of 1.9% from January and a .08% decrease year over year.

February’s total in New Jersey represents 2.6% of the total casino online market. WSOP.com showed a 13% increase in revenue for February.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania host the most online gaming outside in the US. Away from poker, both states posted record-breaking numbers yet again for online casinos in February.

Online poker numbers have continued to flatline, but sports betting and online casino action continue to rise. Both state governors have shut down live casinos because of the coronavirus pandemic. Online casinos will remain open, however.

Industry reacts to casino shutdowns

Casinos and poker tours recently announced closures of most major properties and tours. All online poker sites in Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are already reporting large increases in the virtual poker rooms.

Operators have reacted to the pandemic by scheduling more online tournament series and other events. WSOP.com quickly launched its Online Super Series for players in Nevada and New Jersey.

PokerStars is expected to launch its Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) soon in NJ and PA. BorgataPoker.com and Global Poker have also added to their daily tournament schedule.

March might show the potential of being the biggest revenue to date for online poker among legalized US markets.

New Jersey online gaming continues to grow

According to NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, New Jersey online casinos and poker sites took in $52 million in revenue during February. This is slightly down from January, but still one of the biggest months since online gambling launched in 2013.

NJ online sportsbooks brought in $16 million, making the total casino revenue $68 million. When the short month is taken into account, this shows that the daily revenue was $1.8 million. This is an all-time record for New Jersey. 

The online casino powerhouse in NJ is the Golden Nugget, bringing in $19.8 million in February. The silver medal goes to Resorts Casino at $12.4 million, which also included DraftKings Casino & Sportsbook and PokerStars.

One standout number is the growth at Hard Rock online casino to $2.8 million in revenue. Even though it’s a smaller operator, revenue grew by 15% from the previous month. This increase may be in part to the arrival of Hard Rock’s new “live online” slot machines.

Sportsbooks took an 8.4% decline in February but still collected $495 million in bets. The lowered numbers were anticipated after the NFL season ended.

Most major sports leagues and events are now postponed or canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A sharp decline in revenue is expected in the months ahead.

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Valley Forge remains king in PA online gaming

In Pennsylvania, sports wagering took a small hit in February post-Super Bowl. Yet there was still $329 million in wagers, resulting in $11 million in revenue.

Almost half of the wagers went through Valley Forge Casino. They represented about 25% of the total revenue collected for the month.

Valley Forge continues to show dominance in online casino action as well. The property partners with FanDuel in the state and was the leading online casino provider in February.

That included $4.8 million in revenue, which represented more than half of the revenue for the state. All online casinos accounted for more than $8 million in revenue.

The only online poker operator in Pennsylvania remains PokerStars, which partners with Mount Airy casino. In February, PokerStars took in $1.8 million in revenue. WSOP.com and partypoker still have no timeline to enter the market.

This is the lowest month reported since the launch of online poker in November 2019

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