Online poker finally launched in the state of Pennsylvania, months after the online casino industry made its debut. Top online gambling giant PokerStars offers the iPoker gaming options in the state and they have fared well during their first few weeks of operations. During the month of November, the brand was able to collect almost $2 million in rake and tournament fees from online poker players. This is a hefty amount, considering the site launched on November 4th and their first month took place alongside the Thanksgiving holiday.
An Even Better December
While the online poker room debuted well for November, the month of December is expected to fare even better. The online poker operator decided to launch the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker, offering a ton of events, with only one tournament taking place in November.
We know that the inaugural PACOOP was a huge success with PokerStars upping the guaranteed prize pools early on and every guarantee basically smashed due to player participation. The series ran through December 16th and we will know how the series affected the monthly revenues once they are released in January.
Pennsylvania is the first to launch online poker gaming since New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware got started in 2013. There was much anticipation for the industry as well as estimates as to how well the new option would fare in the Keystone state.
For years, online poker has struggled to gain ground in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. Players are competing in cash games and tournaments, but not in high numbers. In New Jersey, the online poker market struggles to earn $1 million in revenues each month, while the online casino industry of the state is bringing in close to $50 million a month.
For Pennsylvania to start out strong gives hope, but the state should still be cautious. Once the new wears off, will the state see a similar outcome like New Jersey and struggle to pull in big revenue numbers?
Comparing New Jersey and Pennsylvania
When comparing New Jersey and Pennsylvania, there are differences, the main one being the population. New Jersey has around 9 million residents while Pennsylvania has well over 12 million. With more players, comes more opportunity for online poker revenues, if players are interested.
Where Pennsylvania got it right is starting off with a recognizable brand like PokerStars. If you know anything about online poker, then you know that PokerStars is a reputable brand that already offers services in New Jersey as well as abroad. Because the brand is well-known, players are more likely to log on and create an account.
The real test for Pennsylvania will be how the online poker industry fares as the New Year begins. We know December will be a big month due to the PACOOP. It will take a few months for the online poker gaming site to level off and offer traditional options, which will then tell us just how successful the new industry is in the state, as revenue reports are released.