New Jersey and Delaware recently released details of the revenues generated by online poker for the month of July, and they don´t make positive reading.
Industry professionals, who cling onto any positive news to support their campaigns for regulated online poker in the US, have had a pretty bad time of it lately. Hopes of regulated online poker being introduced in California and Pennsylvania have evaporated, while the three states that have already regulated online poker (Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware) provide little reason for optimism.
It is difficult to quantify the revenues from online poker in Nevada, as the Nevada Gaming Control Board stopped reporting figures from online poker last November. At the time revenues had fallen for five consecutive months and, judging by the size of the current post-WSOP slump on the “Multi-State Poker Network”, the same scenario is going to happen again this fall.
More accurate information about the health of regulated online poker in the US (or lack of it) can be garnered from the monthly figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and Delaware Lottery. Based on the most recent releases, it is going to be a sparse couple of months up in the north-east as well.
New Jersey Revenues Up – Until You Look More Closely
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released figures for July which showed a 2.73 percent increase in online poker revenues over June ($1,885,685 > $1,835,576). The figures were bumped by a massive online satellite schedule for the World Series of Poker and the fact the that there are 3.33 percent more days in July than there are in June – so, effectively a net decrease.
Compared with July 2014 ($2,146,500) revenues from online poker in New Jersey are down 13.8 percent, and the situation could get far worse as the year progresses. From August 2014 to November 2014, online poker revenues in the Garden State fell almost 20 percent from $2,251,917 to $1,877,603.
If the same scenario was to be repeated this year, the online poker in New Jersey would generate little more than $1.5 million per month by the end of the year – less than half of what they were when online poker in New Jersey was in its infancy throughout the first quarter of 2014.
Inter-State Compact Fails to Work in Delaware
There was more bad news for pro-regulation pundits when the Delaware Lottery announced its July revenue from online poker this week. The figure of $28,158 represents a fall of 8.2 percent compared against June´s figure, and a whopping 42 percent decline compared against when players from the state were first pooled with players from Nevada in April.
The third straight month of falling revenues means that regulated online poker in Delaware is generating almost 10 percent less than it was at this time last year, when the pro-regulation pundits were forecasting massive growth in the US regulated poker market based on future potential compacts with New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
It is hard to find any silver linings in the disappointing results for US regulated online poker and it makes one wonder why some industry professionals still campaign for regulation. The only parties that benefit from regulation are the poker sites and the taxman – certainly not the players, who are voting with their feet and abandoning regulated sites in their droves to play for more valuable rewards elsewhere.