US Online Poker Revenue Numbers Remain Steady For May; Operators Still Above Pre-pandemic Totals

June 18, 2021
US Online Poker Revenue Numbers Remain Steady For May; Operators Still Above Pre-pandemic Totals

Online poker remains strong even after the online surge seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Legal, regulated operators show that the market for real money online poker in the US continues to stay relevant as online sites also continue major tournaments and promotions.

Online poker is currently legal and operating in:

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Delaware

New Jersey stays solid

The Garden State held steady in May as NJ online poker sites brought in $2.4 million. That’s just a slight dip from $2.48 million in April. held on to the top spot in the state, reporting $919,526 in revenue, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. That fell from $955,000 in April. may have big months ahead in June and July as well with summer circuit and online bracelet events. The site is the only operator offering shared liquidity with Nevada and 888poker in Delaware.

In New Jersey, there are currently three operators:

Partypoker US Network saw a small gain month over month, up about 3% from April. The platform posted $768,639 in revenue and has seen some growth with regular Online Series. The site is also running big satellites this month for players in New Jersey and Michigan. Winners of the Ultimate Super Satellite events earn Las Vegas live tournament packages and the event should draw plenty of players.

PokerStars held the third-place spot, but did see the largest month-over-month growth. The site was up about 12% from May, reporting $719,706

Stars saw a small boost from running the popular Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) series in May. 

New Jersey sees poker rooms reopen

Live players in New Jersey received some good news on May 21. The Tropicana announced a reopening for its poker room. Tropicana is the third poker room to reopen since the pandemic.

Poker rooms currently open in Atlantic City include:

  • Borgata
  • Harrah’s 
  • Tropicana

A look at overall NJ online gaming

For May, New Jersey reported $108.2 million in Internet gaming revenue, up from $85.9 million a year ago. The Borgata/BetMGM Casino brand remained in the top spot among online casino operators.

That made the third month in a row that BetMGM held the #1 online casino site in New Jersey. The brand brought in $32.7 million compared to $31 million for Golden Nugget

NJ casinos posted $37.9 million in total gaming tax revenue for the state. Gaming taxes represent 8% of taxable casino gross revenue and 15% of Internet gaming gross revenue.

Pennsylvania iGaming reaches $100 million month

After months of back and forth, Pennsylvania has overtaken NJ for the number one online poker spot in the regulated market. 

PA online poker numbers jumped to $2.6 million in May, up about $100,000 from April. This boost comes from the recent launch of BetMGM (Hollywood Casino) and Borgata Poker, now affiliated with Rivers Casino. Both are part of partypoker US Network.

PokerStars, partnered with Mount Airy Casino, now has competition in the state but remains the king of the Poconos. Stars brought in $2.25 million in May. Currently there are three real money online poker sites in Pennsylvania:

  • PokerStars 
  • BetMGM (partypoker US Network skin)
  • Borgata Poker (partypoker US Network skin)

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), online gaming in total generated gross revenue of $101.3 million in May compared to $55.8 million in May 2020. This was the first time since the launch of iGaming that monthly revenue had exceeded $100 million. Internet gaming generated $41.7 million in tax revenue. 

Live poker rooms are primarily running cash games still but tournaments are on the horizon. Rivers recently announced a tournament for June 27. The following poker rooms are now open:

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

Revenue flattens in Michigan

Michigan online casinos reported $94.8 million in gaming revenue for May. That number remains almost the same as reported from April. The May report includes $19.4 million for sports betting from a handle of $237.6 million.

“Adjusted gross receipts for Internet casino gaming were up two-tenths of a percent compared with April, which means state, city and tribal governments received more revenue,” Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director Henry Williams said in a news release. “The event-driven sports betting handle dropped 4.9 percent compared with April.” 

The Wolverine State combines all online casino games and doesn’t separate out statistics for real money online poker in Michigan. There are currently two operators in the state:

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

BetMGM saw month over month stability and led the state in gross revenue with $36 million. FanDuel saw an increase from last month and came in second with $16.3 million. 

As in NJ, BetMGM Poker in Michigan is currently promoting the Ultimate Super Satellite event. That may add some to the site’s player ranks. Operators delivered $18.7 million to the state for:

  • Internet gaming taxes/payments: $18.1 million
  • Internet sports betting taxes/payments: $615,153

Currently six brick and mortar poker rooms have re-opened within state borders including:

  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • Motor City Casino Hotel 
  • Greektown Casino-Hotel
  • Odawa Casino Petoskey 
  • Firekeepers Casino Hotel
  • Island Resort & Casino

Online poker revenue drops but iGaming is up in Delaware

Delaware online poker saw a small decrease in May’s report. The First State showed total revenue of $35,251 for May.

Even though poker numbers were down, iGaming overall saw its best month in 2021. Delaware Lottery reported $910,282 in the month of May for overall online casino games.

888poker is the only operator in the state. The poker platform is showcased on three different skins in partnership with the state’s racetrack casinos including:

  • Delaware Park
  • Dover Downs
  • Harrington Casino and Raceway

Delaware Park continues to be the top online casino with May revenue of $19,902. Dover Downs reclaimed second place with $8,414.

Players also received some good news this week. Delaware Park is reopening its poker room on June 15, operating from 11 am to 3 am daily. This is the first poker room in the first state to reopen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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