PokerStars was the first company to launch online poker in Pennsylvania in early November with much anticipation. December numbers showed promise with an uptick in revenue, but that declined in January.
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Mount Airy Casino Resort/PokerStars showed January poker revenue of $2.1 million. This number is down from December’s $2.4 million.
Business is good for online gaming overall in PA
The PGCB’s reported on Feb. 19 that overall casino revenue in the state for January was $302 million. This represents a 17% revenue increase for the same month the previous year.
In December, PokerStars hosted its first-ever Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) series. That may have led to the inflated revenue number.
However, January’s $2.1 million in poker revenue was higher than almost all individual casino online slot and table game revenue.
Only Rivers Casino Philadelphia reported higher slot revenue with $2.4 million. So the good news is poker still remains one of the most popular online gaming options for PA residents.
Sports betting is fueling the fire
The large increase in overall state casino revenue was primarily due to the booming sports betting industry. Sports revenue streams continue to expand and grow.
PA offers live on-site sports betting along with mobile and online wagering. In January, $348 million was wagered on sports alone, a 1.7% increase over the previous month.
This is the second season sports betting was legal in Pennsylvania for the Super Bowl. The board also reported preliminary figures showing $30.7 million wagered on Super Bowl weekend.
“Last year, the sports wagering market consisted of only six retail outlets,” the PGCB notes. “This year, patrons could choose to place Super Bowl wagers at a dozen retail locations and through eight online wagering sites.”
PokerStars operates FOX Bet for sports wagering in PA and helped ignite partner casino Mount Airy’s revenue stream. Mount Airy reported $19 million in sports revenue in January, up from $12 million in January 2019.
PokerStars Bounty Builder could boost February numbers
PokerStars is currently in the middle of the Bounty Builder Series, which runs through March 1. This could propel the site to a higher revenue for their February.
The Pennsylvania series will have a $500,000 guarantee and includes buy-ins from $10 to $750. The series has 32 events that including a $300 Main Event with a $100,000 guarantee.
The same series is also being run by PokerStars New Jersey, with a $300,000 guarantee.
State of the US online poker market
Three states legalized poker in 2013. Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey were the first to jump in the online market. It took six more years for Pennsylvania to go live. Players hope growth in Pennsylvania leads to more growth for the online poker industry.
Currently, PokerStars is the only online poker operator in Pennsylvania, which has about 13 million residents.
The World Series of Poker recently announced 14 online bracelet events this summer for players in Nevada and New Jersey. That produced some speculation that WSOP.com would launch real money online poker in PA soon.
However, WSOP officials have indicated that no launch is imminent. The same goes for partypoker. Both have filed for a license in the state.