Online gaming revenues released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) for the month of May reveal some telling facts, the most important of which is that online poker could use a shot in the arm.
iPoker revenue in the Garden State totaled $1,928,106 in May, a 2.9% drop from April’s total of $1,985,289. Perhaps a better barometer of the direction online poker revenue is headed is evident in year-over-year numbers, with May down 15.2% from the same time in 2014.
That latter percentage decrease cries out for something to be done, even more so considering that revenue from online casino games has increased 28.7% year-over-year. May of this year saw New Jersey’s online gaming operators collect $10,546,480 from Internet casino games, bettering the $8,196,276 of a year ago.
What can be done? Teaming up with Delaware and Nevada in the Multi State Poker Network is certainly one way of prompting a boost in action on the online poker tables. It remains surprising to some that New Jersey officials have not taken the plunge as of yet.
Many thought that New Jersey and Gov. Chris Christie would be chomping at the bit to sign on the dotted line of the Multi State Internet Gaming Agreement, especially since DGE director David Rebuck indicated in a report issued at the beginning of 2015 entitled “New Jersey Internet Gaming One Year Anniversary – Achievements to Date and Goals for the Future” that doing so was crucial to the state’s igaming success.
“An important area for the future of Internet gaming is Interstate/International compacts. This type of cooperation between jurisdictions is very important for building liquidity in peer-to-peer games such as poker,” the report stated.
Popularity of Poker Miscalculated
It’s interesting to note that before New Jersey launched its online poker and gambling regime, state officials thought that ipoker revenue would trounce the revenue generated at Internet casino games. The dismal showing of ipoker has been somewhat of a shocker and points to the ever-growing need of New Jersey to join the alliance of Delaware and WSOP.com in Nevada.
To further quote the report released by the DGE slightly more than six months ago, “poker accounts for only 25% of New Jersey’s Internet revenue while the remaining 75% consists of other authorized casino games.” Since that report was released on January 2, 2015, ipoker revenue comes in at even less of New Jersey’s total igaming take at 22.4%.
Projections Off Base
It’s no secret that New Jersey officials including Christie missed the mark on projected igaming revenue totals before launching – some estimates came in at $300 million in the first year. We now know that total to be $191,684,977 in 18 months.
Also off base was the belief that ipoker would lead the way. It hasn’t and it won’t, but revenue totals would likely get better if New Jersey followed through with its goal of entering the realm of interstate online poker.