Nothing to Get Excited about in NJ Online Poker Revenues

New JerseyThe New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement yesterday released August´s Gaming Results, with online poker revenues yet again failing to impress.

Revenues from online poker in New Jersey amounted to $1,983,230 in August – a month-on-month increase of just over 5% when compared to July ($1,885,685). However, that is about where the good news ends.

August represents the fifth straight month that the $2 million barrier remained intact and, compared with August 2014 ($2,251,917), the revenues from online poker in New Jersey are down 12% year-on-year.

Furthermore, although there were the same number of “gambling days” in August as there were in July, it is important to note that there were five full weekends in August 2015 compared with four full weekends in July 2015 – making a 5% month-on-month growth in revenues nothing to get excited about at all.

Will there be “Brighter Days” Ahead?

This time last year, industry observers were forecasting “brighter days ahead” for online poker in New Jersey following a similar bump in revenues (there were also five full weekends in August 2014). Unfortunately their predictions turned gloomy when the months of September, October and November registered three consecutive months of declining revenues.

New Jersey Online Poker Revenues 2014 ($) 2015 ($)
January 3,442,271 2,299,426
February 3,109,203 2,045,655
March 3,210,663 2,045,655
April 2,591,839 1,985,289
May 2,273,657 1,928,106
June 2,048,087 1,935,576
July 2,146,500 1,885,685
August 2,251,917 1,983,230
September 2,085,295
October 1,967,905
November 1,877,603
December 2,059,213

Interestingly, there were five full weekends in November 2014 – the worst month last year for online poker revenues in New Jersey. If the current year-on-year trend continues (revenues are down 24.5% on this time last year), it is not inconceivable that online poker revenues in November could fall below the $1.5 million mark.

Stop Me If You Have Heard This One Before

The trend of declining fortunes for online poker in New Jersey could be significantly reversed when PokerStars is eventually given its operating license. The most recent “[geolink href=””]weeks not months[/geolink]” launch date is almost three weeks old now, and there is only three months to go until the NJDGE´s two-year suspension of PokerStars´ license application draws to a close.

PokerStars´ entry into New Jersey is not guaranteed to spark a recovery of the online poker market. Undoubtedly the company will spend a fortune in marketing, and it is true that not every New Jersey citizen is aware online poker is regulated, but the likely outcome of their being a new online operator in the Garden State is massive cannibalization of the two existing operators (PartyPoker/Borgata and WSOP/888) despite their two-year head start.

A fragmented market is unlikely to be of any benefit to online poker players either. Once the initial spurt of interest has evaporated, things are likely to settle down with three sites sharing the same player pool as exists now, only with less liquidity at the cash tables and smaller tournament guarantees.

With there being no chance of interstate compacts being formed (as their might have been if [geolink href=””]888´s bid to buy Bwin.Party[/geolink] had been successful), there may be a few “brighter days” ahead for online poker revenues in New Jersey around December, but overall nothing to get excited about.


Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett