Sceptics claiming that the market for online poker in New Jersey is saturated could be jumping the gun, as more sites prepare to launch in the Garden State.
After the launch of online poker in New Jersey last November, the news pages on many poker sites were full of positive comments about the number of registrations that had been recorded and the sums of money that would be contributed to Atlantic City´s ailing economy.
Subsequent events such as geolocation issues, a plateau being reached in the number of players competing online and disappointing first quarter financial returns have led some sceptics to claim that online poker in New Jersey is not the golden egg it was conceived to be and that the market has now become saturated with online gaming opportunities.
Significant Events in NJ Cause Misconceptions
However, several significant events in New Jersey have contributed to the slowdown in online poker traffic in the Garden State – not least the Borgata Winter Poker Open series which has drawn thousands of players away from the relative comfort (and warmth) of their online activities to compete in live poker tournaments offering millions of dollars in prize money.
Furthermore, online poker traffic is most commonly recorded by the number of players competing in cash games, and while the Borgata Winter Poker Open has been in progress, so has Party Poker´s $50,000 guaranteed “Pokerfest” series; which has drawn many players away from the cash game tables to compete in the fifty-event online poker series.
New Sites Prepare to Open Their Virtual Doors
Fresh competition for Party Poker and WSOP.com – the two market leaders in New Jersey – is also about to materialize in the form of Wynn Poker. Wynn Interactive recently moved one step closer to launching an online poker product in New Jersey when the company filed a petition with New Jersey regulators for a “transactional waiver” – a precursor for the company to enter New Jersey´s regulated market.
Wynn Interactive already has an agreement in place with 888Poker to provide online poker, and a second agreement with Caesar´s Casinos would see the Wynn Poker servers located in a Caesar´s property in Atlantic City. Wynn Interactive would then join 888Poker´s All American Poker Network to ensure instant liquidity for their players.
Want to Tell Richard Branson about Saturation?
Another online gaming site soon to launch in New Jersey is Richard Branson´s VirginCasino.com. Branson has made billions of dollars by using outrageous marketing techniques and entering markets which were already considered to be saturated, and his Virgin mega-brand will attempt to grab a slice of the New Jersey online gaming market using a similar strategy.
It is worth noting that, up until the beginning of last year, Virgin Poker was one of the leading skins on the Boss Media poker network until it was sold to Gamesys – who have in turn teamed up with Atlantic City´s Tropicana Casino & Resort – and it is not inconceivable that Richard Branson could revive the online poker product if a suitable marketing opportunity arises.
Talking of “It is not Inconceivable” …
It is also not inconceivable that the biggest player in the online poker industry – PokerStars – may still enter the New Jersey online poker market. PokerStars have been thwarted in their attempts to gain a presence in New Jersey due to operating in the States post-UIEGA and because company founder Isai Scheinberg has so far failed to answer charges relating to Black Friday indictments.
If PokerStars does eventually provide online poker to the residents of New Jersey, there is no guarantee that the site would automatically become the market leader, but the resulting spike in new client registrations might give those who are knocking the viability of online poker in New Jersey something to think about!