PokerStars is no longer the market leader in New Jersey.
The isolated online poker jurisdiction is home to five authorized Internet card rooms. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) and 888poker rooms share traffic, as does Borgata Poker and partypoker.
PokerStars New Jersey entered the fray in March, a landmark ruling by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) that allowed the world’s largest online poker network to reenter the United States. Five years after it was labeled a “bad actor” by federal authorities and forced out of the country, the platform’s return was expected to generate a boom to the Garden State interactive tables.
PokerStars quickly overtook the WSOP/888 and Party Borgata sites in terms of both traffic and revenue, but the Amaya-owned property has since seen its numbers decline. Per the most recent data supplied by PokerScout, PokerStars New Jersey is now minimally trailing WSOP/888 on weekly averages.
WSOP/888 reported 120 players for its last seven days, 10 more than PokerStars.
On the global scale, PokerStars has upheld its command. With 4,000 more players on its weekly average than nearest competitor 888, the PokerStars.com domain remains supreme.
Still Dominating Revenues
The World Series of Poker, the game’s marquee annual spectacle, just wrapped at the Rio in Las Vegas last week. The 69-event tournament and the $10,000 no-limit hold’em granddaddy of them all is likely the driving force behind WSOP/888’s surge in New Jersey.
Though Nevada and New Jersey do not share player liquidity, online players back east are surely aware of what’s happening in Sin City. It appears the WSOP/888 marketing departments successfully appealed to players not traveling to Nevada.
However, when it comes to revenue PokerStars is still king. And in the eyes of the gaming companies, nothing is more important.
Through the first quarter of 2016, PokerStars grossed $778,070 in revenue. WSOP/888 generated $602,103 and Party Borgata collected $589,002.
That means PokerStars accounted for 39.5 percent of the state’s total online poker revenue.
The year ahead will be critical for PokerStars’ parent company Amaya.
Based in Quebec, Amaya is facing a multitude of challenges including allegations that its former CEO David Baazov facilitated insider trading by providing privileged information to outside investors. Baazov has since taken a voluntary paid leave from the conglomerate he founded in 2004.
The company announced this week that it was shedding jobs at its London office. The reduction in workforce stems from Amaya opting to phase out Full Tilt Poker from its operations.
Amaya famously paid $4.9 billion in 2014 for PokerStars and Full Tilt. The latter’s reputation remained tarnished as thousands of players are still awaiting reimbursement from Full Tilt’s settlement agreement with the US.
Baazov has stated that he is innocent of any wrongdoing and plans to adamantly fight the charges against him. Amaya leadership and the investors who have purchased shares of the company on the Toronto or New York stock exchanges are hoping he’ll be cleared.
Another black eye is the last thing Amaya needs as WSOP/888 lurks in New Jersey.