RECORD BREAKING: Online Poker Pops to New Industry Heights in April

Anthony Cicali III May 19, 2020
US online poker produced record numbers in April.

The US online poker and casino industry continued to crush previous records in AprilWith players at home for the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online numbers have ballooned.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Delaware all saw the closing of brick and mortar casinos. That has led to massive numbers in March and even bigger numbers in April.

The upward trends offer some hope for the industry and huge growth potential for the regulated US online poker market.

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New Jersey sees major growth, PokerStars moves to top

The $5 million mark has been achieved. In April, New Jersey saw online poker hit another record of $5.1 million. This toppled March’s record of $3.6 million. Year over year, online poker revenue in the state has now tripled. 

Online poker companies are staying busy during the Coronavirus pandemic. Operators continue to pump out tournament series to keep eager players.

WSOP.com, PokerStars, and partypoker all ran major tournament series in April to much success. That continues with several events underway in May.

PokerStars captured the monthly lead in April thanks to a huge NJSCOOP. WSOP.com has usually been on top on a monthly basis. Here’s a look at individual operator revenue:

In total, real money online casino gaming combined with poker also set another record of $79.9 million for April. That’s more than double the revenue from April 2019.

Total online casino gaming revenue has seen a 23% increase month over month. With Atlantic City casinos still closed in the state, it’s a good bet these trends should continue.

Pennsylvania takes lead over NJ in online poker

Pennsylvania also showed a record month with $5.2 million in revenue during April. This slightly edged out the state’s neighbor New Jersey.

PA online poker has only been operating since November 2019 and continues to see online poker growth. PokerStars PA remains the only active poker operator and continues to run major series in the Keystone State.

Between NJ and PA, PokerStars saw its biggest month in the US since pre-Black Friday. In total, PA recorded $43 million in combined online casino and poker revenue – setting another state record.

Rivers Philadelphia accounted for $13.7 million in revenue and held the top spot in the state. Mount Airy/PokerStars brought home the monthly silver medal for $10.4 million for the month. 

Delaware delivers biggest online gaming numbers ever

While it may be small and overlooked, Delaware online gaming has also seen a major uptick in recent months. One the early US regulators, the state offers table games and slots. Online poker is also available via a partnership between 888poker and the state’s racetrack casinos.

Since launching with online gaming in 2014, Delaware had never seen a month with over $400,000 in revenue. That all changed with a $500,000 March. In April that number grew to a record $856,000.

All three Delaware operators saw record-setting months. Dover Downs casino won the online battle for the month of April with $341,000. Delaware Park was second with $309,000 and Harrington with $205,000

Big online growth should continue into May

Can this online market sustain and for how long? In March 2020, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware ordered the shutdown of all casinos and poker rooms until further notice.

Casinos in Nevada also remain closed. Online casinos and poker still operate in these states during the pandemic however. This gives players at least some kind of gaming option.

All land-based casinos in the NJ-PA-DE area are to stay closed through May with speculation of soft openings this summer. Whether that includes live poker remains to be seen.

And even if poker rooms do open, the demand may be soft. Expect to see similar numbers in May’s reports with declines coming only once a full live poker scene re-emerges.

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