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Caesars Leads NJ Online Poker Market Thanks to Tri-State Player Sharing

In the first month since its WSOP.com and 888 Poker platforms began sharing online poker player pools across three states, Caesars Interactive Entertainment has taken over as New Jersey’s market leader.

New Jersey officially became part of the Multi State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) in October of last year, joining an existing player sharing compact forged in 2015 by Nevada and Delaware. On April 30 of this year, the tri-state agreement officially went live, combining online poker player pools throughout America’s three regulated markets.

As the only operator with a presence in all three states – WSOP.com is available in Nevada and New Jersey, while 888 Poker holds a monopoly in Delaware – Caesars Interactive was immediately positioned to take advantage of player sharing.

And per the latest monthly revenue report published by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), Caesars Interactive parlayed that position into its first market share lead since November of 2013 – the first month of regulated online poker in the Garden State.

In May, Caesars Interactive generated $770,348 of the state’s $1,929,693 combined monthly online poker haul – good for a 40 percent market share.

That number was enough to beat out the Resorts AC licensing group – which counts PokerStars NJ as its lone poker platform – at $716,668 (37 percent market share) in May revenue.

In doing so, the WSOP.com / 888 Poker tandem unseated PokerStars NJ from the state’s top spot for the first time since April of 2016 – the site’s first full month of operation.

The accomplishment appears to support a prediction made by WSOP head of online poker Bill Rini when New Jersey finally came aboard the MSIGA compact:

“Everyone has had the end user in mind throughout this process, and as a result, we believe the United States, for the first time in a regulated environment, will have a large-scale multi-state offering that will propel the industry forward as soon as next month.

This is truly a game-changer for players and we hope is the model blueprint for additional states to join the fray.”

Over the month of April, with player pools restricted to New Jersey’s borders, Caesars Interactive pulled in $449,426 in monthly poker revenue. The increase of $320,922 recorded in May represents a month-on-month growth rate of 71.4 percent. Judged year-on-year, Caesars Interactive’s online poker products in New Jersey grew monthly revenue by 41 percent from $543,932 in May of 2017.

While tri-state player sharing allows WSOP.com and 888 Poker to combine all cash game player pools, and all non-WSOP branded tournaments, all revenue figures are based solely on players accessing the sites from within New Jersey.

Player sharing compacts like the MSIGA accord don’t typically include revenue sharing, so states still tax operators based on the rake they take from locally-based players. Even so, allowing online poker enthusiasts in New Jersey to link up with their counterparts in Nevada through WSOP.com has worked wonders in terms of increasing the combined player pools.

Two weeks before player sharing went into effect, the WSOP.com and 888 Poker platforms in New Jersey combined to average 110 cash game players at any one time, with a peak of 250.

Today, those numbers have swelled to a 240-player average and a peak of 423 with the three states joining forces.

While PokerStars NJ did lose its market share lead for the first time in over two years, the site’s month-on-month decline was negligible at just over $80,000 (-10.1 percent).

The big loser given the rise of WSOP.com / 888 Poker was the Borgata licensing group, which is led by PartyPoker NJ. The network held a 29.2 percent market share at $514,676 in April, enough to solidify second-place standing, Borgata / PartyPoker NJ slipped to just 22.9 percent market share at $442,677 in May.