Online Poker Win Lags Behind Online Casinos in New Jersey

New Jersey Online Casinos Outpacing Online Poker by Wide Margin

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Online casinos continue to drastically outperform online poker rooms in New Jersey, according to a new report from Gambling Compliance.

Casino vs. poker = no contest

The latest illustration of the disparity between online casinos and online poker in N.J. came from a report called “U.S. Internet Gambling In Focus: 2014 and 2015.”

The graph below illustrates the growth of online casinos vs. that of online poker rooms since the launch of iGaming in New Jersey:

New Jersey Win Per Capita

The graph shows 93% growth in monthly win per capita since launch for online casinos, while online poker rooms have seen a decline of 29% since launch.

You can read the entire report from Gambling Compliance here.

Who is cleaning up in New Jersey?

Revenue has been spread pretty evenly among the four active online casinos in New Jersey:

  • Borgata (PartyPoker), Golden Nugget (Betfair) and Tropicana (Virgin) all pulled in about $2.5 million in revenue for casino games, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement January 2015 Gaming Revenue Results.
  • Caesars (WSOP / 888) lagged behind with $1.7 million in casino win.
  • Year over year, both Golden Nugget and Tropicana’s online revenue (neither has an online poker room) have seen huge growth — over 750% and 200% growth, respectively.
  • The overall monthly win for PartyPoker in online poker ($1.3 million) is about half of its online casino take, while Caesars’s disparity between poker and casino ($1 million vs. $1.7 million) isn’t nearly as large.

Poker only vs. full iGaming

This data illustrates an obvious fact — that regulating all online casino games would be much more lucrative for states considering iGaming than allowing just online poker.

Without shared liquidity among states, it’s simply difficult for states to grow their online poker win and player pools. Notably, California is considering legislation that would only regulate online poker — although it’s one of the few states with a population base that can actually support an online poker market. Clearly, the ceiling for revenue becomes considerably higher for states that are willing to offer casino games online, as well.

What’s next in 2015?

There are several things to watch for on the poker vs. casino disparity this year:

  • Gambling Compliance notes that iGaming is a topic up for debate in “California, New York and Pennsylvania, which together account for roughly 22 percent of the U.S. population.” How these states handle the issue of iGaming could set the stage for the rest of the country.
  • With no real impetus for change, the status quo for online poker growth — or the lack thereof —  is likely to remain. Shared liquidity between WSOP and 888 in New Jersey hasn’t had a huge impact. Full shared liquidity between Nevada and New Jersey for online poker — which isn’t necessarily on the horizon — might be able to move the needle.
  • PokerStars has a chance of entering the New Jersey market as soon as March, or at least sometime this year. The addition of the online poker behemoth could definitely have an impact on online poker growth.
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008.
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