New Jersey online poker revenue dipped to its lowest ever point in September, despite internet gaming enjoying a 19.5 percent upswing.
Reading through the latest figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), online poker revenue in September reached just $1,609,989. Compared to the same period in 2017, that represents a $292,260 drop, or 15.4 percent.
Looking back through the stats since regulated online gaming started in 2013, the previous low for New Jersey online poker sites, $1,735,634, occurred in June 2017.
Gaming Still Robust in NJ
As well as setting a new record, the latest low comes at a time when the industry as a whole is thriving. Sports betting activity across the state is rapidly ramping up, with DGE reporting $40 million in wagers since June 14.
Online casino gaming has also continued to grow throughout 2018. Comparing year-on-year totals, New Jersey’s internet operators banked 7.7 more in September 2018.
The year-to-date casino total has also improved by 2 percent to $1.891 billion, which represents a $36 million improvement on last year’s earnings.
What’s likely to prove most worrying for New Jersey online poker operators is the lack of growth in the face of innovation. Despite the advent of liquidity sharing and new operators entering the market, fewer people are anteing up.
One saving grace in the disappointing numbers comes from realizing that cross-border potential has hardly been tapped. Although sharing is now permitted in all three states with legal online poker play occurring, only WSOP.com and 888poker have exercised their right to connect players in New Jersey and Nevada.
What’s more, the market for player sharing is still limited, with only three states in the US currently offering online poker. Combined, the populations of New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada add up to only 13 million.
Player Pool Limitations
By contrast, New York alone has almost 20 million residents, while Florida and California have 21 million and 39.5 million, respectively. Should just one of these states implement their own online poker regulations in, things could change dramatically.
Therefore, while the current numbers may be somewhat uninspiring, the potential for growth still exists. New Jersey has provided the foundations, all it needs now is more states to enact their own online gaming laws and more players could be added to the communal pool.
Looking forward to 2019, sports betting could be the catalyst that helps build on these foundations. As states scramble to regulate in the wake of PASPA’s downfall, changes across the gaming industry are likely to take place.
Assuming poker can find its way onto the table, it will only be a matter of time before larger playerpools begin to form. So, while the latest figures may be disappointing New Jersey online poker fans, the industry is far from being dead on the river.