Delaware Online Poker Sees Small Gains in July

September 2nd, 2014 | by Jason Reynolds
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell sign poker player pooling compact

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell paved the way for what will now be the first-ever 888 interstate poker player network; it’s hoped it will help boost Delaware’s less-than-stellar performance to date. (Image: gamblingcommisson.com)

Delaware’s online poker system certainly isn’t the most glamorous Internet gambling marketplace in the world. Even in the United States, it’s clearly the smallest of the three states that have legalized Internet poker, and nobody expects too much in the way of revenues there. But with so few data points available, the numbers out of Delaware are still important for those trying to get a better picture of what’s going on in the world of American poker.

That’s why the poker community should be happy to hear that Delaware saw a small spike in their online poker revenues for July. The numbers still weren’t exactly impressive, but they did end a streak of three straight months in which revenues declined rapidly, raising hopes that the sites could remain viable going forward.

July Still Posts Second-Lowest Revenues Ever

In total, the three sites (each tied to one of the state’s racetrack casinos) brought in a paltry $31,398 in combined online poker revenues. That may barely be noticeable for the casinos, but it was at least a slight improvement over the $25,608 they took in during June. That number was by far the lowest since the sites opened last November, leading to concerns that the poker rooms may die, due to a lack of players to support them.

The higher numbers for July still represent the second-smallest take of any month since the sites opened. But they at least suggest that the sites still have some level of activity, and that revenues could bounce back some more as summer comes to a close and residents spend more time in their homes in the fall and winter.

So far, the best month for Delaware’s online poker market has been December, during which the sites eclipsed the $100,000 mark for revenues. Since then, the Internet poker sites have been in a steady decline, broken only by slight increases in March and July. Before the disastrous June numbers came in, the previous month of May had ranked as the lowest point for online poker in the state. But the $57,468 collected that month was still more than the combined revenues for June and July.

Delaware Park Leads State’s Online Poker Market

While all three casino sites share a single player pool for poker, they split revenues based on which racetrack’s online portal they enter through. The majority of revenue, about 60 percent, was generated by players who connected through Delaware Park’s site. Dover Downs took in 31 percent of the revenue while Harrington claimed just nine percent.

Poker makes up just a small percentage of Delaware’s online gambling market, and while the virtual felt saw a slight revenue increase, it wasn’t enough to prevent an overall decline. Total Internet gambling revenue for the month was down over seven percent to $174,096.40. More worrying was a 38 percent drop in the total amount wagered by gamblers, down to just $5.5 million from over $8.8 million in June.

Of the three states with regulated online poker, Delaware’s revenues are by far the smallest. In comparison, New Jersey took in over $2.1 million from Internet poker in July. Nevada’s July numbers were down by 7.6 percent from June, to just $958,000.

It’s hoped that a new 888 poker player pooling compact between Nevada and Delaware may help boost the tiny state’s online poker revenues down the pike.

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