Tag: Uptick

PA, NJ See Uptick In Online Poker Championship Entries

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While we’re not out of the woods yet, states across the country are beginning to ease restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Some will soon allow select businesses to reopen, of course with capacity limitations and social distancing guidelines in place.

Online poker and online casinos have thrived during the shutdown, but major sports remain sidelined and casinos remain closed.

On that note, on to the Rewind:

Online poker tourneys crush in PA, NJ

We expected online poker to pick up steam as stay-at-home orders permeated the country. Perhaps no better example of this occured via PokerStars in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The inaugural Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker, featuring 50 distinct events, boasted prize pools totaling a whopping $3.2 million. Prior to the championship’s start, PokerStars dog-eared guarantees up to $2 million.

With more than 56,000 players and over 23,000 re-entries, PASCOOP finished with a total nearing 80,000 entries. The Main Event (High) carried a $200,000 guarantee, one that was easily topped as 1,315 entries pushed the prize pool to $368,200. The winner left with a cool $57,000.

Days later, the New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker, also hosted by PokerStars, posted similar figures.

Nearly $1.8 million was awarded in 96 events that featured over 33,000 entries, easily becoming the most successful tourney in the championship’s five-year history in the Garden State.

New Jersey’s Main Event itself included 620 entries that led to a $173,600 prize pool. The champ pocketed more than $30,000.

Michigan casinos struggling amid pandemic

It’s no secret that the nation’s retail gaming industry has suffered immensely since the coronavirus forced shutdowns. Michigan provides a microcosm of the struggle.

Bridge Magazine published a report detailing the continued closures of the state’s 23 tribal casinos, which have been shuttered since March 22 and will remain as such until at least May 15.

While other states have benefited from online gambling to at least maintain some sort of revenue stream, Michigan has land-based gaming only, for now. As such, the tail end of March and April concluded without a single legal wager made.

Without operational casinos, tribes are unable to fund services such as health, education and law enforcement, among other areas. Really, casinos provide a vast majority of funding for tribes.

For example, Bridge noted that as much as 60% of the budget for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community stems from the Ojibwa Casino. Similarly, some 75% of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is backed by gaming revenue.

The rest of the state certainly misses casinos, considering those properties have contributed more than $30 million to local governments and over $54 million to the state in 2019.

Some relief coming for smaller casinos

While the pandemic has made it difficult for businesses to stay afloat, the Small Business Administration recently updated its guidelines for Payroll Protection Program loans that exclude small US gambling businesses.

Translation: Smaller casinos could receive loans to pay wages, utilities and rent during the shutdown.

The update came as Congress funneled $310 billion to fund the program.

Initially, “small businesses” were defined as establishments with less than 500 employees, which makes them available to receive up to $10 million or 2 ½ months of payroll, whichever is less. The trouble, however, stemmed from the SBA classifying gambling businesses as risky and “of poor character,” thus preventing that industry from receiving aid.

Now, though, guidelines dictate that any business eligible for a loan is not be overlooked based on gambling-related income.

That said, those businesses must vie with many, many others in various industries to acquire such help. Some 30 million small businesses exist in the country, and the money released by Congress is enough for just 31,000 loans at the max payout.

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PA, NJ See Uptick In Online Poker Championship Entries

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While we’re not out of the woods yet, states across the country are beginning to ease restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Some will soon allow select businesses to reopen, of course with capacity limitations and social distancing guidelines in place.

Online poker and online casinos have thrived during the shutdown, but major sports remain sidelined and casinos remain closed.

On that note, on to the Rewind:

Online poker tourneys crush in PA, NJ

We expected online poker to pick up steam as stay-at-home orders permeated the country. Perhaps no better example of this occured via PokerStars in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The inaugural Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker, featuring 50 distinct events, boasted prize pools totaling a whopping $3.2 million. Prior to the championship’s start, PokerStars dog-eared guarantees up to $2 million.

With more than 56,000 players and over 23,000 re-entries, PASCOOP finished with a total nearing 80,000 entries. The Main Event (High) carried a $200,000 guarantee, one that was easily topped as 1,315 entries pushed the prize pool to $368,200. The winner left with a cool $57,000.

Days later, the New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker, also hosted by PokerStars, posted similar figures.

Nearly $1.8 million was awarded in 96 events that featured over 33,000 entries, easily becoming the most successful tourney in the championship’s five-year history in the Garden State.

New Jersey’s Main Event itself included 620 entries that led to a $173,600 prize pool. The champ pocketed more than $30,000.

Michigan casinos struggling amid pandemic

It’s no secret that the nation’s retail gaming industry has suffered immensely since the coronavirus forced shutdowns. Michigan provides a microcosm of the struggle.

Bridge Magazine published a report detailing the continued closures of the state’s 23 tribal casinos, which have been shuttered since March 22 and will remain as such until at least May 15.

While other states have benefited from online gambling to at least maintain some sort of revenue stream, Michigan has land-based gaming only, for now. As such, the tail end of March and April concluded without a single legal wager made.

Without operational casinos, tribes are unable to fund services such as health, education and law enforcement, among other areas. Really, casinos provide a vast majority of funding for tribes.

For example, Bridge noted that as much as 60% of the budget for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community stems from the Ojibwa Casino. Similarly, some 75% of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is backed by gaming revenue.

The rest of the state certainly misses casinos, considering those properties have contributed more than $30 million to local governments and over $54 million to the state in 2019.

Some relief coming for smaller casinos

While the pandemic has made it difficult for businesses to stay afloat, the Small Business Administration recently updated its guidelines for Payroll Protection Program loans that exclude small US gambling businesses.

Translation: Smaller casinos could receive loans to pay wages, utilities and rent during the shutdown.

The update came as Congress funneled $310 billion to fund the program.

Initially, “small businesses” were defined as establishments with less than 500 employees, which makes them available to receive up to $10 million or 2 ½ months of payroll, whichever is less. The trouble, however, stemmed from the SBA classifying gambling businesses as risky and “of poor character,” thus preventing that industry from receiving aid.

Now, though, guidelines dictate that any business eligible for a loan is not be overlooked based on gambling-related income.

That said, those businesses must vie with many, many others in various industries to acquire such help. Some 30 million small businesses exist in the country, and the money released by Congress is enough for just 31,000 loans at the max payout.

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New Jersey, Pennsylvania Online Gambling Revenue See Big Uptick In March

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This was supposed to be a landmark time of the year.

Two of the biggest and flourishing legal sports betting industries were supposed to be reaping the rewards of one of the sporting year’s busiest times: March MadnessMLB, the Masters, and postseason pushes for the NBA and NHL.

What an incredible month — certainly one that would produce record-breaking sports betting handle and revenue numbers for both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Yet we were left wanting. The coronavirus pandemic shut it all down. All that’s left is what could have been.

That said, online gambling did not completely suffer. Rather, both online casinos and online poker saw an uptick. And last month, industries in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania seemingly compensated for a lack of sports.

New Jersey online gambling flourishes

Believe it or not, online gambling has been a mainstay in New Jersey for going on seven years. No month, however, has ever been as prosperous as March 2020.

Online casinos and poker operators reported a jaw-dropping $64.8 million in revenue. How big is that? Well, it sits nearly $13 million more than the previous month, for starters. More important, though, that total is the industry’s first month exceeding $60 million. And it’s actually nearly $10 million more than the state’s previous best monthly report.

If those feats aren’t enough, March 2020 numbers reflect an astonishing 65.6% increase year over year.

The kicker, though, lies with online poker. Entering March, this sector had not eclipsed $2 million in monthly revenue since August 2017. It hadn’t seen more than $3 million since October 2016. In January 2014, the state enjoyed its best poker month with $3.4 million in revenue.

You see where this is going: In March 2020, New Jersey online poker posted a whopping $3.6 million in revenue. Month over month, that’s a 101% spike.

All told, all but one online casino in the state reported record-setting revenue figures in March.

Certainly, these online platforms benefited from stay-at-home orders. Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the closure of Atlantic City casinos midway through the month. And when leagues began suspending and canceling events, online casinos and poker filled the void.

PA online gambling shows a similar trend

New Jersey was not alone in rewriting the history books.

Neighboring Pennsylvania was coming off a record-setting February. As the Keystone State nears the anniversary of its first online casinos, the industry put up yet another historic month.

Already trending upward, what with revenues up over 31% month to month since December, operators in March reported some $24.3 million in online revenue, marking a 24.5% increase from February. That total breaks down to a $12.4 million/$8.8 million/$3.1 million slash line for online slots/table games/poker.

It’s not just the revenue that stands out, but also the action. Consider players in Pennsylvania accounted for $871.6 million in total wagers, up nearly $170 million from the previous month. Staggering.

Like in New Jersey, the uptick in Pennsylvania can assuredly be attributed to mass shutdowns. With casinos closing down amid the coronavirus pandemic, overall gambling revenue in Pennsylvania actually dropped by 51%.

Takeaways from NJ, PA online gambling reports

Leagues and organizers suspending and canceling events sent a shockwave across not only the country but the world. What were fans and bettors to do?

From jump street, operators who integrated online casinos with online sportsbooks or vice versa made sure to cross-promote. The two industries appeal to different demographics. Get your slot players to notice the NFL lines, for example, or market table games to the everyday sports bettor.

March 2020 emerges as the most significant example of such strategies paying off.

What’s more, online gambling in New Jersey and Pennsylvania could open the eyes of lawmakers in other states. After all, those states could certainly use revenue from somewhere, right?



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