Caesar’s poker earnings in May 2018 was a staggering 41% up on May 2017.
You read that correctly. Read it again.
How is this possible?
On 01 May 2018 New Jersey joined Nevada and Delaware in a combined player pool. Joining the Multi-state Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) was a big deal for the state, with expectations that it would grow the NJ online poker market. That was something of a miscalculation.
In reality, only Caesar’s online casino is benefitting from a wider reach at the expense of Poker Stars NJ and NJ online poker. Caesar’s market share has increased - 35% in April and up substantially to 44% in May.
By comparison, PartyPoker NJ posted a 27.8% decline year on year for May, while Poker Stars NJ has also seen a 25.6% drop in revenue over the same period.
However seen in the bigger picture, Poker popularity is in trouble, being down 9% on last year with the overall poker market declining.
This runs contrary to the expectation that more cash games and bigger prize pools in a shared pool, the multi-state environment would boost the popularity of the game. It’s hard to be optimistic about the current situation when the very first month that was filled with such excitement and anticipation, was a disappointment. Recent industry reports also seem to show fewer players and less over-all activity in a two-week cycle.
Before getting despondent – read on – an increasing market and addition of states to the player pool might well bring positive change for NJ poker.
NJ based players can, for the first time, participate in WSOP gold bracelet from home. Three more bracelet events are scheduled for June; this after the bracelet of 3 June registered the biggest ever tournament numbers in Nevada’s history, so this isn’t a tale of all gloom and doom.
Pennsylvania is the next state likely to join MSIGA and growth prospects are predicted for the NJ market by this move. Pennsylvania brings a population of 13 million people to the playing table, and Poker Stars NJ and Party Poker NJ have indicated their keen interest in expanding in their direction.
Pennsylvania could potentially be the game changer for NJ online casinos as their numbers far exceed Nevada and Delaware’s and there is also no competition which would potentially muscle in on Caesars the 888 platform.
Growth might well occur as more platforms will be competing for those players – and subsequently, the competitions will offer better incentives and promotions attracting new players.