The online poker industry saw a 1% decline in player traffic last week, the second week in a row that cash game action failed to reach levels of the week before.
One poker room that stands out among the rest in the latest tabulations is the New Jersey offering provided by Caesars. WSOP.com in the Garden State managed to grab a share of the top position among poker sites and networks in the regulated states of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.
WSOP-NJ gained 5% in ring game action last week and is now virtually deadlocked with the Party Borgata Network at 130 players in a seven-day average, PokerScout reported. Party Borgata experienced a 7% decrease for the week, which allowed its main rival to gain both momentum and market share.
The momentum WSOP.com is riding in New Jersey has gone in the opposite direction for its Nevada site. WSOP-NV enjoyed a huge traffic increase last month, an average of 160 players at its peak, while the World Series of Poker was being played in the Sin City. The boost allowed WSOP.com in Nevada to take over the player traffic lead among regulated sites for a time, but has now returned to its pre-WSOP level of 110 players.
The top five regulated poker rooms and networks in the U.S. currently are WSOP.com-NJ, Party Borgata, WSOP.com-NV, the All American Poker Network, and Ultimate Poker in Nevada. AAPN averages 70 ring game players, while UP-NV is close behind at 60. Incidentally, that 60 is five more than its pre-WSOP total, meaning that UP-NV gained a handful of players while chief rival WSOP-NV has fallen back to its late May level.
In the global market, Bodog/Bovada managed to creep into sixth place. That knocked PokerStars.it down to seventh. Movement in and around the top ten saw Winamax.fr fall two places and out of the top ten to 11th place. Two ring-fenced PokerStars rooms, the offerings in Spain and France, moved up to ninth and 10th places, respectively, as a result.
Winamax is aiming to get back into the top ten and hopes the launch of its own version of fast-fold poker will do the trick. Running out of names for its quick-paced product since the likes of Rush Poker, Speed Poker and Zoom Poker are already in use, Winamax settled on “Go Fast.”
To make the fast-fold playing experience truly built for speed, Winamax has included audible and visual effects that simulate race car quickness. Also, a dozen radio stations are available for players to tune in and listen to while seated (and reseated) on the Go Fast tables.
Unfortunately, as of this writing, Go Fast has been stopped by a red light in the form of software bugs and glitches. The computer pit crew is currently busily working to repair the problems and hopes that players will be back on the road and fast-folding in due course.
The online poker market in France is down some 18% in comparison to last year’s numbers, ARJEL reported. The huge decline is somewhat troubling considering that the global market is 10% off the pace of late July 2013. With an average of 1,000 cash players, PokerStars.fr enjoys a larger piece of the French market over Winamax. But not much larger, as Winamax ring game players total 950.
For those looking for bright spots and a possible increase in online poker player traffic in the future, the recent announcement that Amaya Gaming‘s purchase of Rational Group has met regulatory approval in a dozen jurisdictions worldwide is encouraging. Even more encouraging would be an OK regarding PokerStars’ application for an online gambling license from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
That approval from Garden State gaming regulators is anticipated and will likely buoy player traffic numbers, at least in New Jersey initially. U.S. online poker players continue to hold out hope that PokerStars will also spread its reach to Pennsylvania, California and any number of states that decide to enact online poker regulation further down the road.
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