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Nevada Nearly Breaks Single Month Poker Revenue Record

Cash Game Poker Market Hits $17.4M In June, State Says

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Nevada’s cash game poker market nearly broke an 11-year-old record in June.

According to figures released Monday by state gaming regulators, Nevada poker rooms raked in $17.48 million from cash games during June, up a strong 4.8 percent year-over-year. The revenue was the second-most ever for a single month in the history of Nevada’s poker market. June 2007 set the record of $17.66 million, according to historical data compiled by the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV.

The $17.48 million was also only the second time ever the market passed the $17-million mark for a single month. There were 60 poker rooms with a combined 683 tables this past June, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. There were 104 rooms and 960 tables in June 2007.

Nevada has regulated online poker these days, which is included in the revenue figure. Back in 2007, online poker was unregulated. Nevada has gradually shed live tables since the height of the poker boom in the mid-to-late 2000s.

In early May, the Nevada/Delaware online poker network kicked off sharing liquidity with the state of New Jersey. Currently, only those three states have regulated online poker. Unlike New Jersey, Nevada doesn’t release a breakdown between live and online poker revenue, thanks to the fact that there is just one major online poker platform in the Silver State. Caesars/WSOP, which is partnered with 888, is the only network catering to the three-state player pool.

“Nevada performance has always been solid for WSOP.com and shared liquidity has pumped some additional excitement into the market,” Bill Rini, Head of Online Poker at WSOP.com, told Card Player Magazine. “Obviously with the land-based WSOP going on since we launched it’s difficult to pinpoint specific cause and effect relationships, but there’s no doubt that this summer was great for online poker players both in Nevada and New Jersey. Record prize pools and record numbers of tournaments entries prove that with shared liquidity the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

The Las Vegas Strip area accounted for $14.1 million of the $17.48 million, per the state data. There were 18 rooms with a combined 379 tables on or around the state’s main casino corridor this past June. About 100 live poker tables were added to the area between April and the beginning of the annual World Series of Poker. The WSOP ran through the entire month of June, like it has every summer since 2006, when the poker festival kicked off on June 25.

The WSOP said in a press release last month that the 2018 festival attracted a record 123,865 entries, exceeding last year’s mark of 120,995 buy-ins. There were five fewer events in 2017. Attendance grew 2.3 percent year-over-year. The WSOP held four online bracelet events this summer, which helped drive players to the internet.

The poker revenue does not include rake from live tournaments.

Nevada poker revenue has grown year-over-year in 12 of the past 14 months.

Performances of other regulated online poker markets

About a couple of weeks ago, the Garden State released data on its online poker market in June. New Jersey casino regulators reported that online poker revenue during the month was $1.75 million, up 1.3 percent compared to the $1.73 million raked in June 2017, when New Jersey was going it alone for online poker.

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

Caesars Interactive Entertainment in New Jersey reported online poker revenue of $814,929 in June, up about 73 percent compared to $470,027 in June 2017.

Delaware, home to under a million people, has a much smaller online poker market. Its June revenue was about $27,000. However, that amount was up 49 percent compared to online poker revenue of just $18,000 in June 2017.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court recently bolstering states’ rights when it comes to gambling, more states are expected to approve online poker in the months and years ahead. The likes of New York, Michigan, Connecticut and Illinois are all seriously considering the games. Pennsylvania legalized online poker last year, but has yet to launch any platforms.