On May 1, poker players on WSOP.com NJ joined the combined player pool already established between Nevada and Delaware.
New Jersey joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) was a monumental occasion. Some expected that a larger player pool would help grow New Jersey’s online poker market.
Those expectations did not come to fruition.
There is a new leader of the pack
As it stands today, shared liquidity only benefits Caesars as the only operator in Nevada and Delaware. (In NJ, Caesars owns WSOP.com and provides the license for 888 Poker as well. The WSOP/888 network is now part of the interstate player pool.)
Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that following the launch of the three-state combined player pool, May’s revenue number puts Caesars on top.
My, how a month can change things.
Caesars earned $770,348 for May, a 41.6 percent increase compared to May 2017. It’s market share also increased from 35 percent in April to 44 percent in May.
Yes, some of Caesars’ growth is coming at the expense of its competitors. PartyPoker NJ posted an all-time revenue low of $442,677, a 27.8 percent decline compared to May 2017. PokerStarsNJ also saw a significant decrease in its second-lowest revenue number. It earned $716,668 for a drop of 25.6 percent compared to last year.
Caesars might be growing, but NJ online poker is not
While Caesars sees growth and some of that growth is coming from PartyPoker NJ and PokerStars NJ, the online poker market as a whole is declining. The overall revenue was down nine percent compared to last year, something that was not entirely expected and is concerning.
Shared liquidity, in theory, should attract more players. There are more cash games at more stakes and larger prize pools for tournaments. More games and more money makes playing online poker more attractive.
What does it mean if NJ online poker declined during the initial month when the excitement was high? It’s too early to tell. But it seems as if the declining trend is continuing into June.
In a recent report on the state of US online poker found on Poker Scout, the seven-day rolling cash game player average is declining among all three networks for the two-week period ending June 17. Tournament entries are also registering fewer players.
The one bright spot in the online poker market is for the first time New Jersey-based players have the opportunity to play for a WSOP gold bracelet from home.
The first of four online bracelet events took place June 3 and resulted in the largest online poker tournament regarding entries in Nevada’s history. There are three more bracelet events on the schedule for June. These hugely popular events will surely help Caesars stay on top for a while.
What will save the US online poker market?
While it’s still early, the evidence so far shows shared liquidity will not be the catalyst to help New Jersey online poker grow.
Pennsylvania is likely to be the next online poker market to join the MSIGA. Will it have a more significant impact than New Jersey?
The short answer is yes.
Combined, Nevada and Delaware have a population of around 4 million people. New Jersey has more than 9 million. It makes sense that New Jersey joining the MSIGA would have less of an impact on New Jersey’s revenue than the other two states.
Add Pennsylvania and its 13 million people to the mix, though, and a brighter picture emerges. The other big piece to this puzzle is PokerStars NJ and PartyPoker NJ are prepared to expand operations into the Keystone State.
Currently, there is no competition for the shared liquidity that presently benefits only Caesars and sites on the 888 Poker platform.
That all changes with Pennsylvania.
Not only will players be allowed to play across state lines, but multiple platforms will also be vying for those players. The competition will generate better promotions and incentives which ultimately has the power to fuel growth.