New Jersey Online Poker Revenue Down 14.5% Since Last Year

Last week, the Department of Gaming Enforcement released the revenue figures for New Jersey online poker.

Overall, online poker posted a 0.60 percent decline in revenue in October 2018 when compared to September 2018. Year-over-year also showed a decrease of 14.5 percent. The revenue figures support the trends we have been reporting here.

Each week this report is a mixed bag of news, this week is no different. The most notable story, though, is it appears the cash games welcomed some new players. It has been a while since we have been able to say that.

Let’s take a closer look. Here are the key stories from the US regulated poker scene since our last report published on Nov. 12:

  • PokerStars NJ implemented its new Star Rewards program
  • continued to host the Coast 2 Coast III concluded with enough entries to exceed the $200,000 guarantee for its Main Event
  • partypoker NJ continues to hold down third place while posting the most consistent numbers from week to week

Now, let’s take a look back at the tournament and cash game trends for the two-week period ending Nov. 18, 2018.

U.S. Regulated Online Poker Operators

The major U.S. poker operators are:

Operator Network Provider Other Sites in the Network 888 888poker
PokerStarsNJ PokerStars None
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 tournament summary continues to rely on big tournament series to produce decent prize pools. Last week we reported that it appears tournaments are losing their appeal.

This report supports that hypothesis. During the last two weeks, each of the three operators exceeded their guarantee once, and each posted an overlay once. There just doesn’t seem to be any consistency. posted strong numbers both weeks most likely due to the continuation of the Coast 2 Coast Classic III. Even so, it still contributed to the prize pool on Nov. 11 to match the larger than usual guarantee.

On Nov. 18, surpassed the $200,000 guarantee by $15,000. It’s only the second time since shared liquidity that NJ players have had a $200,000 guarantee tournament. Considering, failed to meet its guarantees the previous two weeks, the site took a big gamble. Luckily it paid off.

Now that the Coast 2 Coast Classic III concluded, there is sure to be a new tournament series starting soon. It seems as if a week doesn’t go by without one.

Both partypoker NJ and PokerStars NJ both held a series in Oct. So, it is hard to predict which operator will be the lucky host.

One last thing worth mentioning is PokerStars brought its global Star Rewards customer loyalty program to NJ. However, it is unlikely to have an effect on the results.

Sunday major online tournaments by the numbers

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018,

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $320 Coast 2 Coast III #25 $150,000 Guaranteed 488 $150,000 $146,400 -$3,600
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 188 $30,000 $34,968 $4,968
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 203 $35,000 40,600 5,600

Information for the tournaments held on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018:

Tournament Entries Guarantee Actual Prize Pool Difference
WSOP $525 Coast 2 Coast III #48 $200,000 Guaranteed 430 $200,000 $215,000 $15,000
PokerStarsNJ $200 Sunday Special $30,000 Guaranteed 171 $30,000 $31,806 $1,806
partypokerNJ $215 Sunday NLH $35,000 Guaranteed 157 $35,000 $31,400 -$3,600

Average cash game and peak traffic summary

For the first time in many weeks, NJ poker seemed to grow. Both and PokerStars NJ posted gains to their 7-day rolling average number of cash game players.

It is encouraging that the gains happened without stealing players from partypoker NJ, who remained consistent posting a 7-day average of 45 cash game players.

There hasn’t been much good news for online poker in the Garden State. So it is understandable to latch on to the first glimmer of hope for a growing market in quite a while – no matter how small. posted a 7-day rolling average of 200 cash game players. It hasn’t seen that number consistently since the summer.

PokerStars NJ showed a 7-day rolling average of 85 cash game players. It, too, was one of its highest figures in quite a while. Although, it was not quite enough to reverse the site’s declining trend line.

Peak traffic numbers were pretty much more of the same for the operators with one exception. PokerStars NJ, for the first time, posted a peak traffic number in the double digits. That, by the way, is not good news. They haven’t even really come close to dropping down that far before this week. We contacted PokerStars for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Factors impacting U.S. regulated online poker in the coming weeks

The holidays are upon us. That means some players will have more time to play and others will have less. Looking back over the past few years, online poker took a small hit over Thanksgiving weekend but rebounded nicely in the following weeks.

It will be interesting to compare last year’s online poker trends without sports betting over the holidays and this year’s trends that include sports betting.

We will take a look at that, and other news affecting the New Jersey poker scene, and the complete U.S. regulated online poker landscape. We will be back here on Dec. 4.