There was an increase of 3.2 percent in Atlantic City casinos by the time November ended in 2017. This is the first time in a decade the casinos on the Boardwalk have increased their earnings. The industry downturn between 2006 and 2016 went from $5.22 billion to $2.6 billion and the viability of the casino resorts in Atlantic City was being questioned. This changed during 2017 due to the legal online poker and casino games.
Online Poker – What Is Happening?
Online poker and casinos have generated revenue of $700 million for New Jersey since their inception. $1 billion in revenues have been forecast for New Jersey by the close of 2018. November brought in $20.6 million in online gambling for nine straight months breaking the $20 million mark. The current total is $225 million. This is expected to reach $250 million in 2018. In 2017 the online gambling revenue was $197 million. The Garden States entire revenue for the gaming industry in November of 2017 was $18,800,417 and $1,809,799 came from online poker.
The gaming revenue has increased twenty percent for the year despite the decline in online poker. This is causing alarm for the poker aficionados. The regulators are trying to establish interstate poker compacts to increase poker revenues. This will enable players from New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware to play online poker together. This will increase the player numbers and prize pools. Once Pennsylvania enters the poker network they can join the compact. The numbers for Nevada are not available because they do not release the details for online poker revenue.
The majority of online casinos are content with their poker room revenues. Slots are the biggest money makers for land based and online casinos. This accounts for approximately seventy percent of New Jersey's revenue from online casinos. The revenue for land based Atlantic City poker rooms decreased 42.7 percent from November of 2011 and have consistently declined from 2006 to 2017. 2018 is the first year since growth was reported with an anticipation of $28.46 in revenue from poker.
The reasons for the decline of poker revenues include the consolidation in Atlantic City. In 2011 there were eight poker rooms with 296 poker tables. Today there are five poker rooms and 207 tables. This may mean the tables remain at capacity and boost revenues. This has not yet happened. The decline may also be due to the decreasing popularity of poker. The game is limited to a specific niche due to the required skill, mathematical mindset, powers of concentration and understanding of human psychology required. No skills are required for craps, slots, scratch card games and roulette. Poker is now only expected to be 1.18 percent of gambling revenue.
The combination of Delaware, Nevada and Pennsylvania are expected to provide a boost to the declining poker industry. The past percentages have a lot less importance for New Jersey than the expected rate of growth. There are still die hard fans of poker located in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. They may be partially responsible for the current increase in revenue.