With Pennsylvania’s online gambling revenue up in February, poker players would have expected the card game to pick up some steam as well. Alas, poker has turned out to be the chronic underperformer, bringing hardly any value to the table.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has released its numbers for February 2020, posting solid numbers for the online gaming industry at large. Casinos have brought in some $304,349,740, or up 5% compared to January.
The growth has also constituted a 13.75% uptick year-over-year (YOY). Nevertheless, poker has remained characteristically anemic, refusing any jolts to pick up momentum. With players still opting for the offshore segment due to limited liquidity close at home, this is partially understandable.
Yet, hopes have been that with the introduction of quality online venues that can expedite any deposit or withdrawal, things would have changed a little. No big shake down has followed, though.
How Bad Has Poker Revenue Been Affected?
The beginning of 2020 was anemic as well. While the novel coronavirus infection is now putting a lot of strain on industries, poker at least should have picked up. Yet, it posted depressing results two months in a row. First, PA online poker revenue took a tumble in January, dropping by $2,157,266 or 12.8%.
February turned out to be even starker, leading to a $1,830,356 in total revenue, or a 15.2% decrease. True, the slowdown has not been as bad between January and February as the sudden drop at the end of 2019.
Yet, poker still looks rickety all things considered. And who is to say that things would look up any time soon? With sports betting now completely removed from the equation, though, there might be some pick-up in the online poker segment, although sports fans are not too eager to hop into a skill-based game that could take years to play decently.
A Dauting March for Poker Ahead of Coronavirus Crisis
With the economy now about to take a serious tumble, poker players might also get a bit fidgety. To many players, poker is an after-work pastime, but some 30% of all workers in the United States might be out of a job.
Gloom economic forecasts puts the recovery time from the about-to-happen COVID-19 recession at five years. The PGCB has also tried to predict how much brunt the industry would bear – not just poker, but for every aspect of gambling in the Keystone State.
According to the Control Board, casino revenues will fall by at least 50% in March alone, following the closures. Yet, hopes are that online gambling will get a sudden spike in numbers. One silver lining is that PokerStars has already reported a decent uptick in its traffic, following the closure of land-based cardrooms as well.
With attitudes shifting online for at least the foreseeable future, this could be an opportunity for online poker to get a firmer foothold in the state. Hopefully, this could also lead to some offshore players returning to play in their home state and contribute to the