Delaware Online Poker Suffering


Delaware is just one of a few states to have legalized online poker. They’ve run into some unexpected shortfalls during their dance with legalization. The primary concern is that there isn’t enough players to make online poker profitable. Let’s keep in mind that the entire state of Delaware has a population of roughly 935,614 people. It shouldn’t come to a surprise to anyone that a state with such few people would have a difficult time finding players to fill an online poker room.

The fact that Delaware has legalized online poker is a step in the right direction. It shows that both the public and lawmakers are on the right page. What it also exposes is the problem of individual states legalizing online poker. There aren’t enough poker players in each state to make a profitable online experience. This is the most difficult thing for both players and government officials to accept. Delaware has inked an agreement with Nevada to enable residents of each state to play poker with each other. It’s only going to have a marginal effect on the game play for people living in those two states.

States legalizing online poker is a great thing. It shows that people are finally taking this issue seriously. The problem is, it’s probably not going to work. There’s simply not enough people in most states to actually pull this sort of thing off. Not to mention it takes quite a bit of capital to start an online poker room. Most companies aren’t going to risk putting up such an investment if they aren’t sure there will be returns. The truth is, a return on their money in some cases may not be likely. This may especially be true in the infancy of online poker in a state. The first companies to attempt it may not be able to pull it offer. reported on the following:

And following a lowly revenue haul of less than $32,000, Delaware’s three online poker operators earned profits of just $24,523 in September, 2015.

Hoping for better in October, Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway, and Dover Downs, the state’s three iGaming operators, were left disappointed once again as their takings tumbled to a new all-time low.

From Bad to Worse

Although just a few hundred dollars less than September, October’s $24,030 result is a sign that, despite a liquidity sharing pact with Nevada, online poker in Delaware is struggling.

For Delaware Park, the news was slightlyless severe, although hardly impressive, as it managed to top the revenue rankings with a total poker haul worth $14,832. However, for Harrington Raceway, the news was less positive with online poker contributing just $3,583 to its $39,081 monthly profit.

While online poker continued to struggle in October, casino games and lottery wins showed some improvement.

In terms of overall revenue, the state’s operators earned just over $750,000 more in October than they did in September. When broken down into net earnings, this win equated to $182,969 in profit, which was around $26,000 more than September.

With November representing the two-year anniversary of iGaming in Delaware, the experts are now asking whether or not online poker can continue to survive with such poor participation rates.

Delaware Falling Behind

When Delaware’s results are held up to scrutiny against New Jersey’s online poker economy, an obvious problem becomes apparent.

Although the Garden State is far from a success story in terms of poker, the state’s collection of operators has still managed to eclipse Delaware’s efforts. New Jersey’s October results aren’t currently available for public consumption, but a look back at September’s figures shows online poker revenue hit $1.7 million.

While it’s true that New Jersey has a (much) larger population than Delaware, the wider problem seems to be a lack of cooperation between the states. As it stands, the three active regions have remained largely isolated from each other.

For casino gaming, this isn’t an issue; however, online poker relies on liquidity and if there are fewer players in the game, then there is less money to win. This equation, ultimately, results in a dying poker economy.

The solution to our poker playing dilemma is to legalize it on a federal level. This would ensure that people in all fifty states can legally play online poker. It would also mean that they would be able to play against people in other states. This is truly what’s needed to be able to pull off online poker. The ability to play people across state lines will be vital if online poker is to ever take off. It offers a greater pool of players that are capable of playing all hours of the day. There is no other way to make online poker both profitable and available to everyone at the same time.

It’s time that our lawmakers got with the times. The same internet technology that allows us to talk to people all over the country can be used to play poker. The task isn’t as difficult as it may sound. People all over the world are currently playing poker against each other. There is no logical reason why people in different cities in America can’t play against each other. The technology exists and so does the know how. It’s only a matter of convincing the lawmakers that this is a good thing. Until then, a handful of lucky poker players will be able to enjoy the ability to play online. Though, their experience may be less than ideal as states like Delaware have a shortage of players in their poker rooms.