Sunday, March 27, 2016 : NEW JERSEY FEELS THE IMPACT OF POKERSTARS RETURN (Update)
Rivals feel the pinch as online poker giant partially re-enters the US market.
The independent online monitor Pokerscout has given some insight into the immediate impact made by Pokerstars on its New Jersey debut last week, noting that preliminary numbers show that the industry giant boosted cash game traffic in the ring-fenced New Jersey market by around 20 percent…taking the average cash game numbers from 320 players up to 400 players.
Pokerscout notes that these numbers do not include Spin & Go or tournament traffic, which would clearly also have an impact.
Industry observers have for some weeks been speculating on how the Pokerstars debut would affect existing operators in the New Jersey market, and it appears that some of them were more or less on point in predicting that the online poker giant would recall past US players to its offering, and take others from rivals like 888Poker, WSOP.com, PartyPoker and Borgata.
The Pokerscout report indicates that 888Poker and WSOP.com bore the brunt of the losses with an approximately 20 percent hit to their cash game traffic, with PartyPoker and Borgata feeling the heat a little less with losses of around 17 percent.
For every action there is a reaction, and that is expected to come in the form of increased promotional and marketing activity from these operators as they fight to retain and grow their market share. Given Pokerstars' long history, it is not unreasonable to assume that the company will continue to strive for market dominance, and the resultant promotional activity could be good for players, boosting the action generally with attractive offers.
Much will depend on how many Garden State players have not yet been attracted to the market – in other words how much demand the market can realistically provide. Growth in New Jersey has been at times disappointingly slow but steady, and the arrival of Pokerstars could bring added pressure for further development.
It's early days still, but the industry will be following the New Jersey developments with interest as Pokerstars more firmly establishes itself.