June Online Poker Revenue Numbers: The Good and the Bad

Posted on July 29, 2014

Nevada’s online poker revenue numbers for June were up in a big way, passing the seven-figure mark for the first time in the 14-month history of online poker in the state, and a 20% month over month increase.

The June numbers for Nevada’s online poker industry were certainly buoyed by the World Series of Poker and the influx of poker players from all over the globe, and Nevada can expect a similar (although probably not as pronounced) bump in their July numbers as the WSOP was still going strong during the first half of July, when the Main Event took place.

Nevada’s online poker revenue in June was $1,037,000, up from $862,000 in May (a 20% month over month increase), which is an even more impressive figure when you consider there is one fewer day in June than in May. Here is a look at the daily take for both May and June:

  • Daily take in May = $27,806
  • Daily take in June = $34,566

Taking this into account, daily take in Nevada rose roughly 25% in June.

But it’s not all sunshine and puppy dogs. The problems will arise when the August revenue numbers are released in September, and the numbers have come back down to normal levels.

Traffic trends

During the World Series of Poker tournament series, traffic at WSOP.com in Nevada was as high as 150 average cash game players according to pokerscout.com, thanks to an emphasis on cross-promotion by Caesars Entertainment as they tried to tie their live and online offerings together for the first time.

As expected, that number quickly dipped back down to 110 players once the WSOP left town –although overall traffic in Nevada is up from the months before the WSOP.

The unfortunate part of the WSOP bump Nevada experienced is that the mainstream press may simply report the drop, without explaining the underlying reasons behind it. When the state inevitably comes back down to earth it will be viewed as a downward trend in online poker when it is little more than the continuation of revenue numbers from May.

The poker world, and online gambling proponents need to educate the general public, lawmakers, and regulators that Nevada’s online poker revenue numbers during the World Series of Poker are outliers and simply cannot be replicated any other time of the year. The WSOP is the Black Friday (sorry about the term) sales following Thanksgiving for the retail industry.

However, there are also potential factors that could keep the numbers from dropping too far.

Nevada’s interstate agreement could help

One potential factor that could help boost Nevada’s revenue numbers is theinterstate agreement with Delaware that is expected to come into being in the coming weeks to months.

Still, once again we have to be careful when it comes to the perceived impact of Nevada’s interstate agreement with Delaware. This is expected to kick in by the end of the summer, and may just coincide with the September release of the state’s August revenue numbers –the first month not impacted by the WSOP.

If the interstate agreement is launched in the coming weeks, and coincides with the August revenue reports it may be difficult to assess the impact on the interstate agreement due to the World Series of Poker’s impact waning at the same time.

WSOP increases consumer awareness

The World Series of Poker could also have a longer term impact on Nevada’s traffic numbers if there is an increase in consumer awareness.

Not only did the WSOP being in town draw attention to legalized online poker in the state but as I mentioned above, they also did a very good job of marketing and cross-promoting their online poker product.

Additionally, the WSOP broadcasts on ESPN should help with marketing and advertising; an effort that will last from now until November.

New sites launching soon

The final factor that may keep Nevada’s traffic numbers up is the impending launch of several new sites.

Normally I feel the launch of a new site would harm traffic by further dispersing the player pool across a number of sites. However, the proposed sites will be the first intrastate network, with WSOP.com, an 888 branded site, and TI all pooling their players — and almost certainly being the network that pools their players with Nevada when the interstate agreement launches.

So in this case the addition of sites would actually boost liquidity for one of the sites (WSOP.com) already in existence.

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Steve Ruddock

Steve is a well-recognized voice in the regulated U.S. online gambling industry. He writes for a number of online and print publications including OnlinePokerReport.com, USA Today, and others, with a focus on the legal market.

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