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New Jersey Online Poker Market Ends 15-Month Losing Streak

Revenue Grows For The First Time Since February 2017

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June was the second full month of online poker liquidity sharing between Nevada and New Jersey, and revenue from the game has already started to trend in the right direction.

New Jersey casino regulators reported that online poker revenue during the month was $1,757,839, up 1.3 percent compared to the $1,735,634 raked in June 2017, when New Jersey was going it alone for online poker. June 2017 saw online poker revenue fall 12 percent compared to June 2016. Delaware, home to only about a million people, is also in the liquidity sharing arrangement.

While a 1.3 percent gain isn’t exactly eye-popping, it does signal a reversal for the Garden State’s online poker market. Through the first six months of 2018, online poker revenue of $11,138,986 was down 11.5 percent compared to the first half of last year when revenue was $12,585,723.

Online poker revenue was down nine percent year-over-year in May, so the liquidity sharing didn’t have an instantaneous effect on growing the market.

But the 1.3 percent uptick last month was the first positive month for the industry since February 2017, when online poker revenue grew 8.8 percent compared to February 2016.

June snapped a 15-month losing streak for the internet poker market.

It is worth noting that June online poker revenue was off nearly nine percent compared to this past May, but a month-over-month comparison is not nearly as useful as year-over-year. Last year, revenue fell 18 percent in June 2017 compared to May 2017. In other words, online poker liquidity sharing has had close to an immediate positive impact.

The turnaround comes despite only one online poker operator being able to cater to the multi-state player pool. Caesars Interactive Entertainment, powered by 888 Poker, offers online poker in all three markets. In New Jersey, CIE reported online poker revenue of $814,929 in June, up about 73 percent compared to $470,027 in June 2017.

Caesars kicked off its annual WSOP tournaments, which included four online bracelet events this year, in late May. The poker festival wrapped up last week.

While Caesars gained, Borgata ($378,019) and PokerStars/Resorts Digital ($564,891) both saw their respective online poker revenues fall drastically in June compared to June 2017. The declines were about 35 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

The early signs show that liquidity sharing works. Now it’s just a matter of more states entering the equation. Pennsylvania is expected to launch online gambling this year, and it could also share its online poker players in the future. Other states like Michigan, New York, West Virginia and Connecticut are all looking at online poker as well.