PokerStars has become the market leader in New Jersey according to cash game traffic statistics.
CASH GAME TRAFFIC
Over the weekend, PokerStars New Jersey cash game traffic continued its upwards trajectory since the full launch on March 21. With a one-day moving average on March 27 of 202, and a seven-day moving average of 174 occupied seats, PokerStars is now the number one operator in the New Jersey market.
WSOP/888 New Jersey recorded an average of 146 occupied seats on March 27, and appears to have suffered the largest traffic fall in percentage terms. Its seven-day average is a full 30 seats behind PokerStars at 144.
Partypoker New Jersey’s seven-day moving average has slipped down below one hundred seats, at 97. Total cash game traffic in the New Jersey market is now up by 32% since March 17.
The multi-table tournament schedule which PokerStars has put in place is similar to the current offers in the state. There is a $100 buy-in daily $10,000 guaranteed tournament, and a
Sunday $200 buy-in $50,000 guaranteed event, matching the offer at partypoker New Jersey.
New events which PokerStars is offering to New Jersey customers include daily PLO, O8, and 7 Card Stud tournaments, as well as a wide range of Knockouts and Turbos. A $500 buy-in High Roller event will run every Sunday with a $15,000 guarantee.
SPIN & GOS
The big change that PokerStars brings to the New Jersey market is Spin & Gos, lottery style
sit and go tournaments for three players.
The contribution that Spin & Gos have made to PokerStars revenues in its other markets suggests that New Jersey revenue forecasts based purely on cash game traffic will underestimate the income PokerStars will earn each month.
The March figures from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) will provide some indication of the size of the multiplier effect that PokerStars will enjoy as the result of being the only operator to offer the popular game format.
PokerStars has not managed to achieve its early market share by buying customers through big promotions. While PokerStars New Jersey offers a good mix of promotions, its offers are not the best in the market.
The $600 first deposit match bonus offered by PokerStars is less than the $1000 offered by partypoker and the $888 offered by 888. And though its $50 free play offer is more that the $25 free offered at partypoker, unlike partypoker’s free money offer (and 888’s $10 free offer), it does require a deposit be made and it is set to expire in May.
PokerStars is offering a $25,000 freeroll to mark its entry to the market, but the regular VIP freerolls which dot-com customers are accustomed to are not yet on the tournament schedule.
Players who had a previous PokerStars account were able to take advantage of a streamlined sign-up process which also awarded advanced VIP status based on prior playing history. The system seems to have worked extremely effectively at re-activating former PokerStars players in the state.
Not only does PokerStars have Spin & Go tournaments to add to its revenues, it also offers casino games.
In New Jersey, online casino games generate much higher revenues than online poker. The last DGE figures showed the Borgata/partypoker partnership generated $3.175 million compared with $1.061 million from online poker.
Industry observers will be looking closely at PokerStars’ casino revenue figures to see how effective the company is at gaining market share. The detailed numbers produced by the DGE can then be extrapolated to indicate the potential for the PokerStars casino vertical in other markets.
INSIDER TRADING ALLEGATIONS
The insider trading allegations made against Amaya CEO David Baazov have not had any regulatory impact in New Jersey to this point. However, if he were to be convicted, the New Jersey regulator may well reverse its opinion that he is a fit and proper person to run a company with a New Jersey gambling license.
Amaya will cross that bridge if it comes to it, and notably, the DGE produced a substantial report covering Amaya’s takeover of PokerStars where it found no problems relating to the transaction. However, it is important to note that the DGE may reconsider its granting of Amaya’s Transactional Waiver at any time.