Legal and regulated online poker has been expanding as of late in the United States. Of course, you may not have noticed as legal and regulated sports gambling has been grabbing all of the headlines.
Sports betting is more popular and has the potential to produce much more revenue, so maybe this was to be expected. Be that as it may, online poker is coming along. Although not as soundly as many would like and PokerStars PA finds itself on the frontlines.
Currently, PokerStars PA is the only online poker operator in the Keystone State, and they reported $2.2 million in revenue in January. These are numbers provided by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
That might sound good, but let’s add some context.
This is just the third month of operation in the state, and PokerStars PA has actually seen revenue decline. Coming off the nearly $2.5 million generated in December 2019, the first full month of operation in Pennsylvania, revenue at PokerStars dropped nearly 13% in the opening month of 2020. Yeah, this is not good for Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Different Than New Jersey
As of now, there is really only one state we can compare to Pennsylvania, and that’s New Jersey. Not only is New Jersey a neighboring state, it is also closest in size to Pennsylvania, and they have seen its online poker market increase in January every year since the market opened in November 2013.
In contrast, Pennsylvania saw revenue drop the first time it was offering online poker in the opening month of the year.
One factor in this decline in Pennsylvania revenue may have been due to PokerStars PA offering their Winter Series. The Winter Series is a very popular online poker tournament series run in other markets around the world, including the .com global market and the state of New Jersey.
This poker tournament series mostly took place in January and guaranteed $675,000 across 30 tournaments.
PokerStars PA also offered other big prizes such as a series of daily Second Chance All-in Shootout freerolls worth a total of $7500 and a Depositor Freeroll, which gave away tickets to the Main Event to the top 25 places.
This may have muddied the waters and directly affected their state-wide rake.
More Promotions in February
If this trend of declining revenues continues in February, Pennsylvania could see revenue dip back below the $2 million mark. However, PokerStars PA seems intent on maintaining a sense of momentum by running these several promotions.
But how much these promotions are helping their overall Pennsylvania revenue remains to be seen.
That’s not all PokerStars PA had in mind either. Their Cardex Challenge was the first promotion of January and ran through Feb. 9. This is a very popular bingo-like game aimed at cash game players and brought in action from a majority of PokerStars PA other markets around the world.
The day after Cardex Challenge ended, PokerStars PA then started up its Pirate’s Quest Challenge. This promotion ran for the duration of February, offering online players the opportunity to win up to $25,000 in StarsCoin.
PokerStars PA also ran another successful tournament series in February, the third one in just four months of operation in the state. Their Bounty Builder tournament kicked off on Feb. 20 and guaranteed $500,000 across 32 tournaments. This promotion was also accompanied by a Main Event Depositor Freeroll, which is always popular.
It will be interesting to see how all these promotions combined will play out in terms of revenue. Plus, you can add an extra day of the month due to the leap year, and every little bit should help.
Pennsylvania online poker is off to a rocky start, but going all-in on tournaments and promotions could help their bottom line.
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