The state of Nevada is one of only three that offers online poker gaming in the United States. The government of Nevada passed legislation to allow iPoker gaming to take place and several operators have been quite successful offering such gaming including the WSOP over the past few years. However, taking a look at the latest revenue numbers, it shows that brick and mortar gaming is actually outshining its online counterpart.
Land based casino gaming in the state has seen a nice upswing with an increase of 1.3% when revenues from 2016 are compared to 2015. Players were hitting the poker tables as well as enjoying other table games and slot offerings at the many casinos located throughout the state. For the final month of the year, December, Nevada earned $956 million with the state bringing in an overall $11.26 billion in revenues last year for land based gaming. The Las Vegas Strip was the largest contributor to the earnings for the state.
Online poker seems to be bringing in big revenues during the summer months when the World Series of Poker is in town. When the WSOP takes place, there is an influx of poker players in the state which increases traffic numbers for online poker sites. This year, the WSOP has plans to offer the most online tournaments ever for the series, with three placed on the schedule. This is sure to help the revenues for online poker gaming from May to July.
However, in the other months of the year, traffic is at a small average and the state is not able to see record-earning numbers. They do perform better than Delaware but the state is very small when compared to Nevada so essentially it is not a fair comparison.
Concern for online poker gaming has increased in the US due to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions being nominated for the United States Attorney General position and commenting that the Restoration of America’s Wire Act should be revisited. This could mean that online poker as well as casino gaming would be done away with in the US if changes were made.
This would affect Nevada as well as New Jersey and Delaware. However, due to the less than stellar earnings the state has seen, they may not be concerned about if online poker gaming were to be made an illegal activity yet again in the US. No one in Nevada has made a comment on the impact that Sessions could have on the industry while New Jersey has, with Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo filing a resolution to ask for Congress as well as President Trump to not allow any changes to be made to legislation.
It seems that online poker gaming has become a non-important issue that the Nevada Gaming Control Board is no longer publishing the online poker revenues to the public. The state has not been able to create a booming marketplace like their competitor New Jersey. Nevada even partnered up with Delaware for shared poker player liquidity in order for both states to benefit but it seemingly has not made an impact on revenues.
It will be interesting to see how the states does as the WSOP comes to town this May. Perhaps the World Series of Poker will have even more appeal this year and lawmakers will see that online poker can do well in the state and an effort will be made to stop any backtracking in the industry. Only time will tell if Nevada will join the fight to stop any changes to online poker gaming legislation or if no efforts will be made due to the lackluster revenue earnings from the gaming option.