PokerStars Casino should trump Online Poker Revenue in US Market

Amaya Gaming is one of the largest and fastest growing online gaming operators in the world, largely thanks to its 2014 acquisition of the Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt. Up until recently, online poker has accounted for the vast majority of the company’s monetary haul. The latest report, however, indicates that online casino revenue is increasing rapidly.

PokerStars CasinoIn Amaya’s 2015 Q1 report, 95% of the company’s yield was derived from its internet poker ventures. The 2015 Q2 report tells a much more interesting story. Following the wide-spread release of the new PokerStars Casino earlier this year, internet casino games now account for 11% of Amaya’s total revenue, bringing the online poker revenue to below 90%.

On the one hand, it’s a clear indication that the new internet casino offering has been a huge success, representing a whopping 78% increase, quarter over quarter. On a more interesting note, considering the current climate of the US iGaming market, it also puts a spotlight on the fact that, if and when New Jersey grants a license to the operator, PokerStars Casino is very likely to outperform the traditionally favored PokerStars poker room.

Since the Garden State launched its first wave of internet gaming sites in November 2013, online casino revenue has always dominated the yield of peer-to-peer (poker) games. The gap between the two has increased steadily as time goes on.

The most current report from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, relating to iGaming revenue from July 2015, designated year on year growth in the online casino market, while the internet poker side continues to slide southward.

The total casino iGaming win for New Jersey in July 2015 was $16.6 million, up 34.4% from $7.9 million in July 2014. Online poker, however, dropped 12.2% from $2.1 million in July 014 to $1.8 million in July 2015.

All in all, casino games are accounting for about 85% of regulated internet gambling in the state. In the same token, but it should be noted that only four iPoker operators across two networks (Party Borgata and WSOP/888), actually offer both internet casino and poker games. For those companies, online casino games make up about 2x the revenue that peer to peer games account for.

Size Does Matter

The size of the online poker player pool in the Garden State surely has something to do with the notable lack of participation at the state’s two rival networks. It’s been assumed all along that the number of interested players will rise dramatically when PokerStars enters the fray, but according to Amaya’s Q2 report, the potential for PokerStars Casino to become the market leader in New Jersey is unmistakable.

Despite the current climate, there is also potential for an immense expansion of player participation if other states choose to authorize online poker games, and then follow that up with interstate gaming compacts. The more states that choose to share liquidity, the more it will benefit the growth of online poker. The same cannot be said of online casino games, where players compete only against “the house”, not one another.

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