In March 2020, the world changed. The COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States along with basically every other country in the world. With the pandemic, came business closings, including the casino industry. As players could no longer access land-based gambling facilities, online gaming sites became more popular. In New Jersey, the online poker market saw a huge jump in player traffic as well as revenues. While the pandemic has still been around for almost a year now, we can see that the online poker industry is still doing well, as revenue growth continues.
2020 into 2021
The year 2020 was a big one for online poker in New Jersey. Monthly revenues came in well over the $1 million mark, which was unusual at the time. Since launching in 2013, the state has seen its online casino sector flourish while the online poker market has stalled. That all changed in 2020 when the pandemic hit. Players flocked to the online poker sites in the state and monthly revenues jumped to the $2 million, $3 million, and $4 million mark quickly.
However, by the first of this year, the totals began dropping. Could it be a sign that players are over the online poker boom, or just a little glitch in the earnings process? in December, Caesars and the Borgata earned over $1 million each in revenues. Yet, they both dropped below that mark in January 2021.
When looking at year over year totals, January was also a success. The market saw an almost 50% increase in revenue growth across the three poker operators in the state when compared to January last year.
Who Runs the Market?
Let’s look at the market share. In 2021, the three poker operators in the Garden State seem to be neck and neck when it comes to holding a share of the market. WSOP and 888poker operate under the license held by Caesars, and they held the market lead for much of last year. They have continued to hold on to that lead this year at around 35%.
However, that percentage is a good bit lower than the more than 50% market share the company held last year. Over the past few months, the partypoker US Network and PokerStars are filling in the gap. PokerStars operates alone but for the partypoker US Network, it involves the partypoker brand, the Borgata, and BetMGM.
As of this month, the Caesars license holds the largest market share of 35.5%. Next is the Borgata, with 33.8%. In the rear is Resorts with 30.7%. Now that the share is spread around, it seems like it will be staying that way. Each of the operators are consistently offering quality events and series, which pulls in a large flow of online poker traffic.
But is it enough? Are online poker players going to continue to sign in to the sites in New Jersey in higher numbers? Or will the slowing of the pandemic lead to more land-based visits to casinos and less online poker gaming? Only time will tell as to what the outcome will be.