New Jersey online poker sites received an early Christmas present this week after the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released its latest iGaming revenue report.
Outlining the vital stats of each online casino and poker site currently licensed with the Garden State, the monthly reports haven’t exactly made for positive reading throughout much of 2015.
However, between November 1 and November 30, the state’s two main operators (which offer four poker sites between) managed to rake in $1,957,513 which represents a 2.3 percent increase on October’s takings.
Not only that, but in a year-on-year showdown, November 2015’s online poker revenue was 4.3 percent better than the amount banked in 2014.
Although the numbers are still a far cry from the many millions of dollars New Jersey Governor Chris Christie confidently predicting in the lead up to regulation in 2013, the upswing is certainly an improvement.
Heading out of the summer months and into the winter is always a bleak time, but for New Jersey’s online poker sites it was particularly sombre thanks to a record low revenue total in September.
Despite more people heading indoors as the summer sun started to fade, revenue from the Borgata, partypoker NJ, WSOP.com and 888 New Jersey was a disappointing $1,771,123.
At this point many were beginning to question the ongoing viability of ring fenced online poker in New Jersey. While these doubts certainly won’t be forgotten following the latest results, the news is certainly a positive heading into 2016.
Although another downswing wouldn’t have put the kibosh on the New Jersey online poker industry, it would have no doubt caused a lot more questions to be asked of regulators, operators and their marketing departments.
However, the latest upswing could prove to be a double-edged sword for the industry.
While a year-on-year increase is certainly impressive and a sign that the economy is moving in the right direction, it may serve as another distraction from the underlying problems with the current set-up.
It’s certainly possible to argue that online poker in New Jersey is doing as well as can be expected, there’s no denying that it could do a lot better.
One of the obvious ways to address the issue of lackluster revenues is to share player pools with Nevada and Delaware.
While this won’t solve all the problems, it would be a start and could then encourage more states to join the action.
This isn’t to take away from the positive news New Jersey’s poker sites will take into 2016; however, it’s important to put the result in perspective of the state’s iGaming evolution and the iGaming industry as a whole.