On July 12, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released its latest online gaming revenue numbers for New Jersey. It probably comes as no surprise that online poker continues to struggle while its casino counterpart continues to thrive.
Overall, online poker brought in $1,757,839 for June 2018. That figure represents a decrease of 5.9 percent from May 2018 when normalized for the extra day in the month.
The silver lining in the report came with a 1.3 percent increase in revenue when compared to June 2017. Any growth at this point is a positive sign for the fledgling New Jersey online poker market.
There is also some good news to report from the past two weeks. Cash game traffic is on the rise for all three online poker operators. This is the first time since shared liquidity that we’ve seen positive trend lines across the board.
The key stories since our last report published on July 3 are:
- WSOP.com continued to lead the pack but gave up some ground to PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ
- Tournaments continue to post lack-luster results
- Peak cash game traffic and the seven-day rolling average are trending upwards for all three operators for the first time since shared liquidity
- For the third time in six weeks, PokerStarsNJ lowered the guarantee of its major Sunday tournament
Now, let’s take a look back at the cash game and tournament trends for the two-week period ending July 15, 2018.
U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators
The major U.S. poker operators are:
|Operator||Network Provider||Other Sites in the Network|
|partypokerNJ||partypoker||Borgata Poker and PlayMGM-NJ|
Pala Poker also operates in New Jersey on its own network. We do not include Pala Poker in this report because the traffic volume is low and doesn’t affect the latest US online poker trends.
Major online poker tournaments summary
The excitement of the four online bracelet events is but a distant memory. WSOP.com set out to capitalize from a captive World Series of Poker audience still in Nevada. To do that, it added a $525 WSOP.com $300,000 Guaranteed Player Appreciation Tournament to the schedule on Sunday, July 8.
The tournament logged 572 entries and posted a massive prize pool of $406,500, which shattered the guarantee. This tournament is really the only bright spot in the tournament summary this week.
On that same Sunday, both PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ again failed to meet the guarantees of their Sunday tournament by $7,100 and $8,800, respectively.
The following Sunday, July 15, came with the news that PokerStarsNJ lowered its Sunday guarantee to $30,000. It was the third time since shared liquidity launched and it has reduced its guarantee from $45,000 to $30,000 during that time. PokerStarsNJ now hosts the Sunday major tournament with the lowest guarantee on the schedule.
PokerStarsNJ did exceed its guarantee by $2,700. It’s too early to tell if this is the sweet spot for the online poker platform or not. The last time it lowered its guarantee it also exceeded it, but then it went right back to posting an overlay in the following weeks.
WSOP.com posted numbers consistent with its normal Sunday Major tournaments. It exceeded the $100,000 guarantee by $46,700.
partypokerNJ, however, failed to meet its guarantee by $1,000. That is the best of the overlays for the online poker site that consistently comes in third. In fact, partypokerNJ has only met its guarantee twice since the launch of shared liquidity on May 1.
Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, July 8, 2018
|WSOP||$525 WSOP.com $300,000 Guaranteed Player Appreciation Tournament||572||$300,000||$406,500||$106,500|
|PokerStarsNJ||$200 Sunday Special, $35,000 Guaranteed||150||$35,000||27,900||-7,100|
|partypokerNJ||$215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH||131||$35,000||26,200||-8,800|
Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, July 15, 2018
|WSOP||$320 Sunday Weekly $100,000 NLH||489||100,000||146,700||46,700|
|PokerStarsNJ||$200 Sunday Special, $30,000 Guaranteed||176||30,000||32,700||2,700|
|partypokerNJ||$215 Sunday $35,000 Guaranteed NLH||170||$35,000||34,000||-1,000|
Average cash game and peak traffic summary
Typically, the tournaments are where the action is. For this report, though, the action is with the cash games. The news is good for all three poker platforms for a change.
When we reported last on July 3, WSOP.com posted a seven-day rolling average of 280 cash game players, and it maintained that number as of July 17. That figure is the site’s highest average, and it helped boost its overall trend line. It appears WSOP.com is settling into its new norm.
Peak traffic numbers are also showing a positive trend line for the online poker site. On July 11, it posted its highest number of 589. Overall, it was a solid two weeks.
Surprisingly, PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ gained some ground in the number of average cash game players.
When we reported, last PokerStarsNJ has a seven-day rolling average of 70 cash game players. It is now posting an average of 80, just five players from its pre-liquidity number of 85.
partypokerNJ reported 45 on the last report and is now showing 55, five more players than its pre-liquidity number of 50.
It is too early to celebrate, but the cash game traffic from the last few weeks is welcomed at the two sites just trying to keep up with WSOP.com.
Peak traffic numbers for PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ also saw some of the highest numbers since shared liquidity.
Factors that will impact U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks
With the WSOP coming to a close and no big tournament series on the schedule, a clear picture of the state of regulated online poker in the U.S. since shared liquidity will begin to emerge.
It seems as if PokerStarsNJ and partypokerNJ were just trying to stay afloat while the WSOP ran its course. Look for new promotions and possibly a tournament series to try and lure some players back to the Sunday grind.
We will keep our eyes on the U.S. regulated online poker landscape and report back here on July 31.