New Jersey Online Poker Market Grows 140% Since Pandemic Hit In March

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New Jersey online poker is seeing some good days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From March through July, the Garden State’s three online poker sites raked $21,649,652 from players, up 139.8% compared to the same period in 2019, during which the poker sites generated $9,026,595.

The rake comes from both cash games and tournament entry fees.

The numbers are separate from New Jersey online casino revenues, which have also seen monster gains since March.

Here are the online poker figures for the last five months:

Month20202019Y-o-Y change
March$3,629,112$1,903,79090.6%
April$5,148,373$1,667,977208.7%
May$4,516,529$1,797,732151.2%
June$3,537,077$1,770,17899.8%
July$4,818,561$1,886,918155.4%
Total$21,649,652$9,026,595139.8%

April’s figure is the record for the state’s online poker industry, which kicked off in late 2013. This year should yield record rake for the legal New Jersey iPoker sites.

PokerStars held its New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) in April, which was very popular during the early days of social distancing.

The World Series of Poker’s 2020 online bracelet series ran in New Jersey and Nevada from July 1-31, propelling the market to nearly the $5 million mark last month.

As of early August, all live poker rooms in Atlantic City were still closed, despite casinos resuming other gambling offerings in July. The lack of live poker is helping fuel the online poker industry, but even when poker rooms in the seaside gambling town reopen, it will likely be at reduced capacity. The return of live poker will probably pour a bit of cold water on online poker’s scorching hot growth, but the future is bright for the online version of the game in a post-COVID world.

New Jersey is expected to eventually share its online poker player pool with sister operators in neighboring Pennsylvania. Michigan could also eventually join.

Here’s a look at 2020 by online poker operator:

Caesars

Month20202019
March$1,643,153$806,656
April$1,862,004$717,942
May$1,745,755$715,168
June$1,389,203$861,713
July$2,826,806$815,836
Total$9,466,921$3,917,315

Caesars (WSOP/888) has enjoyed a 141.6% increase in revenue from March to July.

At Caesars, players on its platform can compete with those in Nevada and Delaware, though those two states have relatively small player pools. Pennsylvania would be a game-changer.

Resorts

Month20202019
March$1,160,875$613,808
April$2,066,293$559,074
May$1,746,417$688,292
June$1,233,371$536,633
July$1,146,175$626,272
Total$7,353,131$3,024,079

Resorts AC, which partnered with PokerStars, has seen its revenue grow a leading 143.1% from March through July. It had nearly 270% revenue growth in April.

While PokerStars can’t pool liquidity, it does have the advantage of a strong platform in neighboring Pennsylvania that raises its brand awareness in the Northeast.

PokerStars PA is the top poker platform in the country in terms of traffic.

Borgata

Month20202019
March$825,084$483,326
April$1,220,076$390,961
May$1,024,357$394,272
June$914,503$371,832
July$845,580$444,810
Total$4,829,600$2,085,201

Despite Borgata’s PartyPoker being in third place in terms of strength of brand and revenue, it has experienced an impressive 131.6% gain so far during the pandemic.

Like its rivals, Borgata (owned by MGM) will be a player in Pennsylvania and will look to share liquidity for online poker. MGM also owns Michigan’s flagship casino in Detroit.

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Brian Pempus

Brian served as a senior reporter and online content manager for Card Player Magazine for nearly a decade before joining USBets in October 2018. He is currently focused on legal and regulated sports betting and online gaming. He's an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner in his free time.

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