New Jersey Online Poker Revenue Down in May
Overall “internet gaming win” was $12.47 million in May 2015, up from $10.47 million for the same month in 2014, an increase of 19.1 percent year-over-year. This was not because of anything poker did, though, as poker’s portion was just $1.93 million. Now, it is not odd that poker contributed less than casino games – that happens everywhere – but poker’s take in May 2014 was $2.27 million, a decrease of 15.2 percent. Thus, the overall jump is thanks to casino games, or “other authorized games,” which brought in $10.55 million, a whopping 28.7 percent rise from last May’s $8.2 million.
Not all of the casinos in Atlantic City operate poker rooms, but of the ones who do, it was the Borgata that led the way with about $1.1 million in poker “win” for the month. Caesars was next (as well as the only other company with online poker) with $831,799 in online poker revenue. Borgata had two poker rooms counted in the figures – BorgataPoker.com and NJ.PartyPoker.com – while Caesars also had two, 888.com and WSOP.com.
Though Borgata brought in more money, it is Caesars that has more cash game traffic. According to PokerScout.com, the combined WSOP.com/888.com has a seven-day average of 170 cash game players, while the Borgata Poker Network has 110 cash game players. Of course, this does not account for tournament action. WSOP.com and 888 used to operate separately, though both were partnered with Caesars and both used 888’s software. In January 2015, the two sites began sharing many of their tables in an effort to increase liquidity. It worked – Borgata used to be the New Jersey market leader.
The WSOP/888 combination is basically the All American Poker Network (AAPN), even though it has not officially taken on that label. The AAPN was created way back in March 2013 as a joint venture between 888 Holdings and Avenue Capital Group, the first U.S. online poker network. 888poker in New Jersey was considered AAPN, but one poker room really isn’t a network.
The big question for AAPN and New Jersey liquidity in general is if the state will ever get an interstate online gambling compact going with any other state. The other two states that offer legal, regulated, online gambling – Nevada and Delaware – have such an agreement and combined their poker player pools earlier this year. They need New Jersey more than New Jersey needs them, but it would still be a positive thing for New Jersey poker traffic if all three could share traffic. Nevada and Delaware had a little easier of a time logistically dealing with just each other than they might with New Jersey, though, as since the demise of Ultimate Poker, the first regulated online poker room in the States, all of the poker rooms in Nevada and Delaware use 888’s platform. Thus, WSOP.com in Nevada and Delaware’s three racino-based sites are all networked together, essentially the multi-state version of AAPN. Again, it is not called that, but 888 has said that it does plan to get AAPN officially up and running with those four sites plus a Treasure Island casino-branded poker room and a new 888 offering in Nevada.
The Golden Nugget, Resorts, and the Tropicana only offered internet casino gaming. Of those three, Golden Nugget generated the most revenue, just over $3 million, followed by the Tropicana at $2.5 million. Resorts was a distant third with only about $325,000 for the month of May.
Compared to April 2015, the online poker numbers also fell, down 2.9 percent to $1.99 million. That’s not really that big of a deal, as poker traffic typically declines as the weather gets warmer. It is the year-over-year figures that are a little more troubling.
On the brick-and-mortar side, the Atlantic City casinos’ May win was $208.6 million, a 10.2 percent decrease from the $232.4 million in May 2014. Year to date, brick-and-mortar casinos have generated $939.61 million compared to $1.06 billion in at this point last year. Total gaming win, including internet sites, is just shy of $1 billion in the yea, 10.5 percent lower than the $1.1 billion accumulated through May in 2014.
Caesars (the individual casino, not the company overall) was the best New Jersey performer year-over-year for May, seeing its casino win increase from $18.4 million to $27.7 million (51 percent increase). Bally’s was the worst, losing 12.1 percent. Golden Nugget was by far the most successful on the internet, enjoying a 401.7 percent increase in internet gaming win, rocketing from $610,949 in May 2014 to $3.1 million in May 2015. This was due largely in part to Betfair.com discontinuing its partnership with Trump Plaza and shifting over to Golden Nugget in November 2014. Golden Nugget isn’t complaining, though. Caesars Interactive and Borgata, the two that offer online poker, fared the worst when comparing the two Mays, dropping 6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.