PokerStars, the world’s most popular online poker site, has seen its global cash game traffic decline but the New Jersey client posted a solid first quarter.
It’s been an interesting few months for PokerStars. The company faced harsh criticism when its CEO David Baazov was accused of a white collar crime. This was just months after poker pros staged a boycott of the site in response to PokerStars making its loyalty program less poker pro friendly.
But then in March, for the first time since 2011, the site began operating in the United States but only in New Jersey. That was a positive step in the right direction for the company and poker in the US. Right off the bat, PokerStars rose to the top of the website traffic charts in the Garden state.
Three months later, PokerStars reported its first quarter data, and there are positives and negatives. The good news for the company is the $787,070 it has generated in 2016 leads the state.
The bad news is PokerStars hasn’t dominated the Garden state’s online poker industry as much as some expected. Borgata/partypoker generated $589,002 in Q1 and Caesars/WSOP/888poker brought in $602,103 for the state, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Serving a Purpose
Despite the poker giant failing to dominate the state, it has helped grow New Jersey’s online poker industry. Compared to last year at this time, the overall market is up.
In April and May 2016, the industry generated more than 30 percent more revenue than at the same time in 2015. June 2016 revenues were up 7.3 percent compared to June 2015.
PokerStars doesn’t currently hold the lead in cash game traffic in New Jersey, however. But it has for most of the time since its March 28 launch date. WSOP/888 tops the charts at this time for cash game traffic.
Global Site on the Decline?
New Jersey PokerStars players don’t compete against users on the global PokerStars client. The international platform has seen a decline in popularity recently, but still holds a firm lead over its competitors.
Cash game traffic over a seven-day period is down to 11,500 players, which is good (or bad) for a nine-year low. The world’s largest online poker site has declined nearly 50 percent in cash game traffic over the past six years.
There may be a number of contributing factors leading up to PokerStars’ decline. Portugal, for example, pulled out last year due to recent online poker regulations within the country, and isn’t expected to rejoin the market again until late in the year.
PokerStars recently exited the Slovenian and Israeli markets. These are all potential reasons for why PokerStars doesn’t have as large of a customer base as it once did.