Online poker is not usually the big revenue earner when it comes to iGaming in the US. However, for PokerStars, it seems the brand has been able to turn around gaming status quo as we know it and dominate revenue earnings during their first month of operations in Pennsylvania. According to the state’s Gaming Control Board, November saw the brand collect close to $2 million in rake and fees from online poker gaming.
PokerStars did not launch until November 7th and saw a ton of action throughout the month via cash games and tournament options. When comparing the poker operations to sports betting in the state, PokerStars was the big winner. Only Valley Forge and their sports betting operator FanDuel were able to earn more than the poker brand.
It is interesting to note that revenue from PokerStars is impressive due to the month of November being a big sports betting time for three professional sports leagues, the NFL, NBA and NHL. On top of earning more than online sports betting, the PokerStars brand also did more than land-based sportsbooks. It is important to note that PokerStars is the only poker action available in the state.
Comparable to Casinos
When it comes to online gaming in the United States, in general, it is online casinos that dominate the industry. In Pennsylvania, there are currently five online casinos in operation. In November, the casinos generated a total of $7.7 million from both slots and table games. Top earner was Rivers Philadelphia which brought in over $3 million in revenue earnings.
None of the other online gaming operators were able to earn as much as PokerStars in November. However, both markets are new and this could easily change. When considering an established online gaming industry, like New Jersey, then online poker should soon take a back seat.
Yet, this might be the turnaround needed in the US to see online poker make a comeback. In New Jersey, the online gaming market is several years old and the online casinos of the state continue to bring in tens of millions every month. With online poker, the state struggles to even get $1 million in revenues a month.
Could it be that New Jersey’s market is just too saturated to provide a steady stream of traffic to online poker rooms? Only time will tell what online poker will become in Pennsylvania. It could be that players logged on to PokerStars because it was a new offering. Once the new wears off, we could see players stop visiting the site and the revenue numbers go down.
November was successful, there is no doubt about that. But only time will tell if online poker will be able to hang on and continue to produce the higher than expected numbers in Pennsylvania. We will continue to monitor the industry to see how the brand performs in the coming months.