Seasonal Surge Slow to Show at New Jersey’s Online Poker Sites

This article may be outdated. Get the latest news on New Jersey here.

New Jersey’s online poker sites are lagging behind both their regulated international and illegal US-facing counterparts when it comes to recovering from online poker traffic’s natural summer slump.

That’s according to recent data from The Scouting Reporta daily analysis newsletter from

US Online Poker Traffic Oct 2014

As the chart above (which reflects daily cash game player averages) shows, activity at New Jersey sites began a recovery in July, but flattened out during August and have continued a slow downturn through the middle of October.

That downturn was reflected in New Jersey’s revenue numbers for September, which shed roughly 7% from August (not accounting for the extra day).

Context from global markets

Additional data from PokerScout suggests the general trajectory one might expect for New Jersey’s online poker sites:

Online poker annual seasonality trends

As you can see, the majority of the upward slope for the global market lies ahead in the winter months.

But New Jersey is still clearly an outlier at this point, at least when placed in a historical context.

And it’s not just a matter of some larger contrarian trend in the US or a shift in the global pattern.

As data from Pokerfuse Pro / PokerScout shows, both the international dot-com market and the illegal US-facing dot-com market are trending more or less in line with the dip and bounce of summer to fall:

Online poker market trends

Possible causes for NJ’s poker traffic stall

  • TD Bank’s decision to stop processing iGaming payments and the absence of any improvement to offset that loss.
  • Significant issues plagued market leader PartyPoker NJ / Borgata’s Garden State Super Series.
  • The September exit of Ultimate Gaming from the NJ market.
  • Built-up frustration among core players over issues like customer service, software quality and player pools.
  • The lack of a large enough market to replenish the losing player segment.

PokerStars to rescue or to reshuffle?

The next major event on the horizon for New Jersey online poker is the anticipated entrance of PokerStars into the market.

While there will no doubt be substantial interest among NJ online poker players in the launch of PokerStars, the open question is whether PokerStars will actually expand the market, or simply snatch existing market share away from competitors.

Here’s an overview of the thinking on the issue.

My personal opinion is that PokerStars will expand the market by a modest double-digit percentage.

But the Scouting Report disagrees, arguing that “[i]t seems likely that a majority of PokerStars traffic will be cannibalized from the other operators rather than growing the size of the pie by a substantial amount.”

PokerScout’s Scouting Report is a daily newsletter for the online poker industry, with in-depth data and analysis of the market. More information can be found by clicking here or contacting [email protected].

- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
Privacy Policy