New Jersey online poker sites are still riding the boost they received from this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered casinos in the state. To date, live poker in Atlantic City still hasn’t made a comeback.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported last week that the three online poker operators — Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Borgata, and Resorts Digital — raked a combined $3,035,003 from players last month, an increase of 77.7% from the $1,708,331 in rake from August 2019.
The online poker growth trailed behind the 115.1% year-over-year growth for online slots and table games, which generated $84,737,965 in winnings last month.
Through the first eight months of 2020, online poker revenue was up 96.2% and online casino games were up 101%. The torrid pace of online poker’s growth cooled last month.
Below is a look at online poker rake since the pandemic struck the U.S.
The large month-over-month decline is due in large part to the absence of WSOP.com (CIE) bracelet events. According to the WSOP online bracelet schedule, all the events in August were held on GGPoker, a platform unavailable within the U.S. In July, New Jersey folks could compete for a bracelet from home.
CIE’s online poker rake fell from $2,826,806 in July to $1,313,066 last month, but it was still good for the top spot in the New Jersey market. CIE can pool players from Nevada. The decline for CIE was 53.5% in a month-over-month comparison, much more than its rivals.
Borgata, home of PartyPoker NJ, was in third with $750,126, down 11.2% from $845,580 in July.
CIE’s big drop off was expected with the winding down of the U.S.-facing summer bracelet schedule.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see online poker revenue decline a bit further in September, but it’s likely the pandemic has boosted awareness for online poker that will remain well after the public health crisis is over. On Sept. 13, Borgata will kick off a nine-day WPT Online Borgata Series powered by PartyPoker that should bring that platform closer to its two rivals.
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