It is a small increase, but Nevada online poker was headed in the right direction in May. And the true benefits of players from around the world being in Nevada for June during the World Series of Poker haven’t even registered yet.
The numbers for Nevada gaming were released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and showed overall growth for the entire industry for May. The revenue collected from all of the state’s gaming in the month came to $970.3 million, which represented an 8.11 percent increase from the $792K of month before. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip showed the most growth, with the nearly $593 million revenue representing a 17.3 increase from April to May.
Meanwhile, the three online poker sites in Nevada registered $862K in May revenue, which was an increase of 8.8 percent over April. Even the daily poker income generated for May, which came to $27,806, was 5.53 percent higher than the month prior.
Slight but Ever-Important Changes for Nevada Market
The increase in Nevada online poker revenue may be small in the grand scheme of online gaming and the gaming industry in general, but it is a significant point for the burgeoning online gaming market.
The start of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas at the very end of May and the surrounding promotions and WSOP satellites created an environment in which the two primary online poker sites in Nevada could grow. (South Point’s Real Gaming remains a non-contender in the market, while WSOP.com and Ultimate Poker battle for the market share.)
As poker players from around the world headed to Las Vegas at the end of May, some of them created online poker accounts and experimented with the sites. WSOP.com had a special “grind station” set up at the Rio, the home of the World Series, and though that didn’t fare well, it started out with some promise and drew some players to the online site. There was also a crew of WSOP.com representatives chatting with those roaming the Rio hallways in order to recruit new players.
Meanwhile, Ultimate Poker ran its own promotions to try to compete, and that site gained a few new players and additional business as well. Those figures don’t come into play significantly until June, but May was the month that kicked off the overall burst of energy for the industry.
What to Expect in the Next Round of Revenue Numbers
PokerScout weekly average cash game player numbers already illustrate that numbers rose significantly, mostly for WSOP.com over Ultimate Poker, during the month of June. This should be represented by an increase in revenue when the June figures are released for Nevada. Without any prior notice of what those figures will be, it seems likely they will represent the largest increase in online poker participation in the state since the launch of the sites in the spring and summer months of 2013.
In the first full year of online poker, Nevada revealed that the industry has shown $10.2 million in revenue, of which $700K went to the state. The numbers are quite a bit lower than estimates predicted prior to the start of the online sites, but the industry is still growing.
In the next few months, the compact between Delaware and Nevada will likely begin to take shape and show some results from shared liquidity. Should another compact come into play involving New Jersey, the next six months of 2014 could change dramatically.
Regardless, the June online poker numbers will likely be impressive and show that the industry is capable of bigger and better things. The first summer during which the WSOP.com site and live WSOP tournament series were integrally connected should produce results that will be fodder for many new discussions about the future of Nevada online poker.