The state of Pennsylvania has set a new record for the amount of revenue generated by online poker in a regulated US market for the month of April 2020. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recently reported that the numbers generated beat the previous record for the state, and set a new US-wide record that substantially surpassed the existing one.
More specifically, the revenue totaled over $5.2 million, and was pulled in by the sole online poker operator in the region, PokerStars.
A $5 million monopoly
The PokerStars platform became the first online poker operator to officially launch in the state of Pennsylvania last November, instantly generating a surge in interest from PA players. The momentum has continued. In April 2020, the platform pulled in a massive $5,253,304 million in revenues for that month alone, almost double that of the previous state record of $3,133,019 (which was set in March 2020).
Moreover, the total was higher than that of New Jersey’s new revenue record ($5,148,373 in the same month), indicating that there is indeed a huge audience for online real money gaming in the Keystone state, which is set to seriously rival the US’s former online poker epicenter during the months and years to come.
Within just over half a year, Pennsylvania has already scooped two of the top 10 all-time poker revenue months, so it’s certainly not hampered by the fact that it currently only has one online poker room in operation:
- $5,253,304 Pennsylvania – April 2020
- $5,148,373 New Jersey – April 2020
- $3629,112 New Jersey – March 2020
- $3,442,271 New Jersey – January 2014
- $3,210,663 New Jersey – March 2014
- $3,133,019 Pennsylvania – March 2020
Factors behind the surge
According to data collected by the PGCB, the surge in revenue generated by the online poker market in Pennsylvania during April was a mixture of organic growth, and increased traffic due to the large number of players spending increased amounts of time at home.
Another key factor in the substantial growth was the exclusive PokerStars PASCOOP online tournament, which ran during the April and paid out over $3.1 million in prizes across a total of 96 online tournaments. This undoubtedly contributed to the 7-day moving average high of cash game traffic experienced during the month.
Tracking results indicated that cash game traffic has slowly begun to decline since that high week in late April, but another tournament, Pensylvani-MANIA – “the largest single online poker tournament” in the state – ran during May and was also a runaway success.
Meanwhile, as the online poker vertical outperformed expectations, online casino operators also posted record revenues for April 2020.
Operators in the casino vertical, which includes slot games and card/table games (with the exception of poker), posted $43 million in revenues for the month, which is a month on month increase of 73% when compared to March 2020.
Real money gaming in the US
As the online sports betting market continues to expand across the US, with more and more states passing bills to legalize real money gaming activities, there are still only four states in which online poker sites are in full operation.
When the Supreme Court overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018, a number of states applied for legislation to regulate sports betting within their borders and open up the real money online gaming market as a whole. This led to an influx of international bookmakers and betting operators launching platforms throughout the country by teaming up with land-based casinos, but the online poker vertical was left waiting.
Contrary to some public opinion, the practice of playing online poker was never considered to be strictly illegal in the country, which is why offshore sites and platforms have continued to accept US based members. Nevertheless, four states successfully passed bills to legalize and regulate online poker inside state lines in fenced-in markets: New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and most recently, Pennsylvania.
Three of those states (Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey) have also set up an agreement to share liquidity, which means that players within all three states can compete against each other, generating larger player pools and more valuable prizes. At this present moment, however, Pennsylvania is yet to say anything about whether or not it will be jumping on board as well.