New Jersey online poker operators will end 2019 on a low note unless they can reverse a two-month downswing in the last few weeks of the year.
As the festive period looms, the Garden State’s Division of Gaming Enforcement published its latest revenue report. Reviewing the period between Nov. 1 and 30, the round-up shows that online poker revenue was down for the second straight month.
New Jersey Online Poker Still Hurting
Looking at the data, operators raked $1,492,494 in November. Of the three online poker license holders, Caesars Interactive (888poker/WSOP.com) generated the most revenue with $681,677 in rake.
PokerStars came in second, banking $480,020, while the Borgata and Partypoker rounded out the month with $393,797.
In context, the latest monthly haul is down 9 percent on the previous month’s revenue. Although October was still a relatively poor month, the $1,640,329 in earnings were up on a year-over-year basis.
The state’s operators had no such luck in November. Not only did the number fall from October to November, the month’s final total was down 4.4 percent on the $1,561,639 collected in November 2018.
With earnings moving in the wrong direction, New Jersey online poker operators are hoping the season of goodwill can turn things around. While a Christmas miracle may be what’s needed at the poker tables, there’s merriment in other sectors of the state’s online gaming industry.
Online Earnings Improve, but Changes are Needed
According to the November report, online casino revenue hit $47,645,412 last month. That total represents a 9.3 percent increase from October 2019, and an 87.7 percent year-over-year increase from November 2018.
New Jersey’s sports betting numbers charted a similar course over the same time periods, with monthly revenue topping $32,895,546 in November 2019. In comparative terms, that’s a 54.8 percent increase on the $21,243,865 wagered in October.
When taken as a whole, online gaming and sports betting are booming in the Garden State. However, as 2019 draws to a close, online poker remains the ugly stepchild.
If there’s a saving grace for players and operators in New Jersey, it’s the recent developments in Michigan. Although the legalization of online poker in the Great Lakes State won’t keep New Jersey’s operators afloat, it may generate some momentum in other states.
Linking each state’s individual player pools together through an interstate gaming compact is often easier said than done, but for online poker operators, such a move is necessary to increase liquidity and attract new players. Even though it already has ties with Nevada and Delaware, New Jersey needs to seek out new opportunities, such as additional compacts with Michigan and Pennsylvania, to drive future growth for online poker.
In lieu of that, local operators will be hoping for a final flurry of activity over the holidays.