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  • Online poker and interactive casinos saw a record 106.7% growth year-over-year in October in New Jersey
  • The Garden State posted a combined revenue of $93.5 million for online casinos and card rooms in October
  • Global poker is expected to keep going up owing to a traditionally busier end-of-year period and new lockdowns

Online poker and gaming seem to be the big winners out of this pandemic, with poker revenue soaring higher since lockdowns began in April. Fast forward to October, and New Jersey recorded record-high revenue from online poker and online casinos, generating the substantial $93.5 million.

Comparing results year-over-year, this is a 106.7% increase for the Garden State. Something similar happened in Pennsylvania with gross operating revenue going up $59.8 million for both interactive gambling and poker.

Commenting for MarketWatch, VP for the United States, Max Bischel argued that during the second and third quarter of the year, people have been focusing on online casinos, with some of the traffic clearly going in the way of poker. Poker spiked in Nevada, one of the states that authorize online poker, when the pandemic first began, too.

Sports Makes a Comeback, Is Poker Under Threat?

Poker fared well in the early months of the pandemic, with noticeable increases in places like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, sports have now come back in full, and that is something Bischel feels would influence the industry significantly.

College basketball got underway this week, to top off a busy NFL and NCAAF seasons with the NBA season launching before the New Year’s. However, he did note that the correlation between reopening of brick-and-mortar casinos and online casino gambling, even if there is some overlap between the players.

However, Bischel believes it all boils down to consumer preferences, and at the time many players feel safer playing at home. According to Pokerfuse, an industry leading publication, poker traffic globally is about to start picking up.

Poker Traffic Picking Up

Based on Pokerfuse’s forecast the pickup in activity is traditional for the end of the year. First, multiple companies host poker events around this time, with 888poker announcing a $1M XL Winter Series just this week.

Meanwhile, lockdowns have come in effect in France, Spain and Portugal, boosting traffic around 30% as of November, with Italy trailing the trio of European poker hotbeds with 18% jump in overall traffic numbers.

Based on data by GameIntel, provided exclusively for Pokerfuse, the highest number of global cash games peaked at 55,000 back in April and has been falling steadily since to even out from July through October.

However, there have been some big winners with GGPoker picking up by 208% in terms of traffic. PokerStars’ network went up 50% in terms of traffic year-over-year in New Jersey, and 888poker supposedly picked up another 60% in terms of poker traffic in the United States.