New Jersey Online Poker Profits Up but Annual Total Still Shows Worrying Trend

3 min read

New Jersey’s online poker sector enjoyed a monthly upswing in May but annual results are still on a downward trajectory.

New Jersey poker sites
New Jersey’s online poker sites fail to make any significant gains in May. (Image: Credit Strategy)

According to the latest results released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), monthly online poker revenue was up 7.8 percent.

Comparing May’s poker win ($1,797,732) to April’s ($1,667,977), the $129,755 increase will be seen as a small victory. However, New Jersey’s online poker operators won’t be celebrating the upswing for too long.

Annual Haul Cause for Concern

Looking back to 2018, year-on-year revenue is down by 6.8 percent. In what’s becoming a worrying trend, revenue was down from $1,929,693 in May 2018.

This downswing has characterized the sector for much of 2019. As per April’s revenue report, online poker generated 3.2 percent less revenue in March 2019 than it did during the same period in 2018.

The one saving grace for the Garden State’s online operators could be the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

With the Wire Act debate not affecting New Jersey’s and Nevada’s liquidity sharing pact, players in both states have access to nine online WSOP events. What’s more, with tournament updates inspiring would-be bracelet hunters to ante-up, activity for June is likely to improve across the board.

However, the acid test will be won’t be the monthly figures by the annual ones. If online poker revenue in June can’t surpass the amount made last year, operators may have to rethink their strategies.

Sports Betting Not Benefiting Online Poker

Prior to the advent of legal US sports betting, analysts were confident all parts of the industry would benefit from the downfall of PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act).

While that may be true for casino gaming, it seems poker isn’t being buoyed by sports betting. In fact, as the latest results show, poker’s dwindling profits contrast with significant gains for online casino operators.

Looking at the stats, year-on-year takings were up by 53.3 percent to $36,542,906 in May. That win meant New Jersey online gaming as a whole improved by 4.8 percent month-on-month and 57.8 percent year-on-year.

Although there is still time for New Jersey’s online poker sites to turn things around, it looks as though 2019 will be a slow year.

Legislative changes and the continued evolution of sports betting could certainly change things. For now, however, the state’s online operators will have to prop up poker with their casino profits.

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