New Jersey legalized online gaming in November 2013 and gambling establishments were eager to launch online poker operations to capture a piece of the gaming market which was thought to be extremely lucrative. As the months rolled on, it was clear that the gaming analysts had got their estimates wrong as New Jersey’s online poker market was clearly in a state of stagnation.
Eighteen months have passed since the garden state legalized online gaming and based on recent numbers released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) it is very evident that the online poker industry in New Jersey is in serious decline. The DGE reported that in June 2015 online poker revenues recorded were the lowest since the legalization of online poker. The online poker revenue recorded in June 2015 was 10% lower when compared to the June 2014 and poses a serious concern for online poker establishments.
The online poker market in New Jersey has been in decline since Jan 2015 and only Feb and March 2015 had steady revenue. The DGE expected a slight decline during the summer months but a 10% YoY decline reveals that all is not well with the online poker market. The online casino industry in New Jersey has had a much better response as the DGE reported that online casino games brought in $9.83 million in June 2015 which was a 22.8% increase when compared to June 2014.
The Party Poker and Borgata partnership continues to dominate the New Jersey market with a 29.6% market share. Caesars and the WSOP.com take second place with a 22.6% market share and Tropicana which provides casino game only takes the third spot. The DGE has tried hard to revive the online gambling industry in New Jersey but has not been very successful so far.
There has been a lot of speculation as to when PokerStars will enter the New Jersey online gaming market. PokerStars, the number one online poker website in the world is looking to re-establish itself in the U.S. and is looking to get a license to enter New Jersey. The DGE believes that the introduction of PokerStars could provide the online poker market with a much needed boost and also encourage other gambling establishments to setup operations in New Jersey.
Pala Interactive is one such company that could venture into New Jersey once PokerStars launches operations. In a statement, Pala Interactive chief Jim Ryan said “We’re brand new. We’re in the market four, five months and everything is new to us. We will offer poker in the New Jersey market but we’ll do it after PokerStars launches. PokerStars is taking the position that they’ll come into the market, they’ll increase consumer awareness and the market will grow. We can only hope that’s accurate and that it will be good for all of us”.