The regulated poker markets in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware never gained the traction expected of them. 2014 has been an exercise in finger pointing, excuses and finally an admission from even the most hardened industry commentators that things were not going according to plan.
Last week, the State poker scene unfortunately suffered a double-blow.
First, New Jersey showed a decline in revenues during October from an already low base. October is traditionally a month when the online poker world sees a big uptick in activity as the weather gets colder. For things to go down in this month would be worrying enough. For them to go down from a base which was less than 10% of the expected traffic by this time is even worse.
Second, Ultimate Poker, who recently shut down their operation in New Jersey, announced that they were also shutting down their Nevada site. This was one of only two sites ‘live’ in Nevada, and their closure represents a major blow to the market there. As some online commentators have pointed out, many players will find their way to the rival WSOP.com site – though many online poker fans would have had an account on both sites anyway.
The continuing delays in PokerStars opening up in New Jersey are also contributing to the general pessimism surrounding State regulated poker at the moment.
In the legal grey area of offshore poker, things are looking decidedly more positive.
For the first time since 2011, there will be an online poker tournament with a $1 Million guaranteed prize pool. With more than 600 satellite qualifiers planned, this should be a popular event, and the winner will receive a guaranteed $200,000 too.
The date for your diary is the 14th of December at 15:00 EST, the venue is America’s Cardroom, the biggest and best site on the Winning Poker Network. You can qualify in one of several daily satellites running right now, or you can buy-in direct for $540.
I hope to be able to bring you some better news about the State Poker sites in the new year.