Worldwide cash game player traffic saw an increase of 1% last week, which followed two weeks of declining player numbers.
There was no movement among the industry’s top ten, as those poker rooms and networks retained their rankings. Second place iPoker did manage to gain 100 more cash players in a seven-day average from the previous week, increasing its lead by 100 over third place 888poker.
The iPoker Network may increase that lead even more in coming weeks as Ladbrokes has announced that it will be leaving MPN to join the world’s top online poker network just before Christmas. Ladbrokes has seen declining revenue from its poker offering as of late and the move to iPoker may turn those numbers around.
MPN, currently holding down 10th place globally, may soon tumble out of the top ten. Ladbrokes’ departure comes on the heels of Unibet announcing its intention to break free from MPN early next year. Unibet will offer a standalone poker site in a partnership with Relax Gaming that aims to cater to recreational players.
PokerScout reports that the International Poker Network (IPN) will close its doors in coming months. The network had once been ranked as high as sixth in the global market. But poker room defections over the past three years have caused player traffic to fall by 90% since its peak in 2010.
Industry leader PokerStars lost 1% of cash game players last week. The decrease was likely a result of a week-long Golden Sit & Go promotion in conjunction with its $27 million December Festival. The SitNGo promo has ended and been replaced by Mission Week, which requires earning VPPs. Cash game action will no doubt increase with the new promo running Dec. 9-15.
The regulated online poker market in America continues to grow. While all eyes are focused on New Jersey, Delaware State Lottery Director Vernon Kirk recently told newsworks.org that new players are signing up everyday in The First State. While the online poker player numbers will never match those of either Nevada or New Jersey, Kirk said that poker is the most popular game offered and that the state’s online gambling regime has “been going very well.”
Overall online poker player traffic is 15% less than the same time last year. Should more states enact Internet poker legislation in 2014, traffic numbers may improve next year when comparing year-on-year totals. However, thus far, New Jersey and its population of more than nine million has not even added 1% to the worldwide market.