New Jersey online poker has seen better days, but also worse. The up-and-down market experienced plenty of turbulence in 2015, with the rollercoaster revenues ride bringing Internet poker to a close down 18.1 percent for the year but fell only 3.6 percent December.
Online poker lost $75,076 in December compared to the same period in 2014, and for the last 12 months $5,247,375 went adrift from the digital card rooms. Internet casino gambling was up in December and for the year, 2015 closing 30.8 percent higher with total revenues coming in at $144.88 million, a $26 million surge.
Reason for Optimism
The online gambling news overall is positive, but iPoker is certainly reason for concern. However, a bit of optimism remains, and that hope can be justified by data.
December’s 3.6 percent drop compared to December 2014 isn’t as important as the fact online poker has actually experienced growth for four consecutive months.
MonthOnline Poker Revenue
December $1.984 million
As the statistics clearly show, online poker is slowly climbing back to more respectable figures. January is also typically one of the most active months for Internet poker as the holidays have passed and the colder air arrives.
For the entire 12 months of 2015, no month performed better than January in terms of online poker.
The Borgata and partypoker room retained its revenues dominance in 2015, the network collecting a total of $13 million. That’s over $2 million more than the WSOP/888 brand, the only other Internet poker operator in the state.
The elephant not yet in the room is of course PokerStars, the world’s largest poker network set to arrive in New Jersey in the coming months.
Can PokerStars Save AC?
While online gaming is ripening in the Garden State, things in Atlantic City are spoiling.
The gambling resort town is struggling so severely that a handful of lawmakers in Trenton suggested this week that the state take control of the city.
Facing a deficit of $90 million thanks to bankrupt and distraught casinos unable to pay their property taxes, New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-District 3) introduced a bill that would give the legislature full control of the difficult decisions ahead should Atlantic City file for bankruptcy.
As expected, that didn’t sit well with Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian (R). Caught off guard by Sweeney’s proposition, Guardian called the action his city’s “Pearl Harbor.”
“If they are allowed to do this in Atlantic City, they will be allowed to do it anywhere,” Guardian said at a press conference. “It’s a terrible precedent. The people of New Jersey elect the state legislature to run the state, not take over its cities.”
Casinos are failing to attract visitors as dozens of venues have popped up in neighboring states over the last 10 years.
One exception is Resorts, the renovated historic beachfront property that will welcome PokerStars when the network finally launches.
Like partypoker and Borgata, PokerStars will operate in New Jersey through its licensing arrangement with Resorts, a partnership that could bring increased traffic to the land-based venue and the casino’s new interactive gaming lounge.