New Jersey Online Poker Revenue Dips

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of major changes over the past few months. This effect has been felt across different industries, with some experiencing a more negative effect than others. For instance, there was a notable uptick in online gambling activities when the global lockdown measures that started in March came into effect. On the flip side, physical casinos and sports betting venues suffered extensive losses as they had to completely shut down in compliance with lockdown protocols.

Causes for The Uptick in Online Gambling 

During the strict lockdown period, the rise in the number of online players was largely in part because people were forced to restrict their outdoor movement. Gamblers who would have visited casino floors to enjoy their games were left with no choice but to seek their thrills online. 

Another factor that led to the rise of online casino gaming was the fact that sports betting was taken off the table. Live sporting events came to a complete stop as a measure to curb the rising infection cases. So, sportsbooks were only left with options like virtual sports on their platforms. As a result, the sports fans who also double as casino gamers turned to the online versions of the games they like.

The Revenue Drop In New Jersey's Online Poker  

One of the online gaming sectors that had a considerable number of new players in March of 2020 was the US online poker scene. However, as the COVID-19 restrictions started to ease from around June of 2020, the number of online poker players also started to drop. A report by New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement noted that there was a 37% drop in the revenue collected during July 2020 and the revenue collected in August 2020. That was a drop from $4.8 million to $3.1 million. 

According to Money Poker Sites, some of the online poker platforms that have shown a significant decrease in earnings include PokerStars, Partypoker, and WSOP.com. These are currently the leading online poker sites in the US. PokerStars New Jersey had its revenue drop from $1.1 million to $971,811. WSOP.com registered a drop from $2.8 million to $1.3 million, meaning it managed to make less than half of what it had in July. Meanwhile, Partypoker was affected the least with a drop from $845,580 to $750,126.

Revenue from Other Online Gambling Activities 

Unlike online poker, other online gambling activities in the US have managed to increase their revenue between July and August. 

  • For sports bettors, although there are fewer games to bet on, sports betting revenue has risen from $29,551,987 in July to $39,507,181 in August, which is a 33.7% increase. Apart from being a month-on-month increase, it's also a year-on-year increase of 56.7% from 2019's $25,210,342. 

  • Casino gaming saw an increase from July's $82,674,391 up to $84,737,965 in August, a 2.5% month-on-month increase. The revenue collected in August 2020 is yet another year-on-year increase from last year's $39,393,256 in August, showing an impressive 115.1% increase.

Things Could Still Change 

Although the month-on-month numbers show a drop, taking into account the year-on-year revenue shows a different picture. Online poker seems to be maintaining a 77% increase each year, which helps put operators' fears at bay. In New Jersey alone, according to Cardschat, online poker in July of 2020 managed to bring in $82,674,391, a 120.9% increase from June 2019's $37,428,813. 

That being said, online poker activity still garners only a small percentage of North America's overall internet gambling revenue, accounting for less than 10%. However, these recent changes show that operators may start to see more poker activity online, especially considering the COVID-19 crisis that has led to these fluctuations continues to persist.

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