Can a Gold Ring Stop the Demise of Online Poker in the US?
Many have serious concerns that online poker games are beginning to die off in the United States. While tougher regulations making it near impossible to operate in some states, some are not ready to throw in the table. New Jersey used to be the gambling capital of the country, but hard times have left Atlantic City a shell of its former self.
Even though revenue from online gambling in New Jersey last month exceeded $21 million, only a little over $1 million was generated from online poker. Gambling revenue in the state was up 18 percent compared to last year, but revenues from poker dropped 18 percent in that same comparison.
Even though other forms of gambling in New Jersey appear to be on the rise, online poker is simply not carrying its share of the load. Luckily for New Jersey, PokerStars is still willing to operate in the state, banking around $700,000 in online poker revenue last month.
PokerStars has a global presence that had New Jersey excited about the union, but expectations are not in line with revenues. Despite PokerStars exceeding expectations wherever they set up camp, they are simply unable to jump-start the action in New Jersey.
PokerStars cannot be faulted for their efforts. They ran a few poker events recently, where the $25,000 main event actually drew 382 entries, but despite the $35,000 prize pool in this one event, half of the other events listed failed to draw the required number of entries to meet the guaranteed prize numbers.
The trouble with lagging interest in online poker in New Jersey has left PokerStars in a bad spot. The company is going to have to do more that rely on its stellar reputation or roll out standard tournaments that are successful in other parts of the world. Enter the golden ring!
Maybe hope for boosting numbers in New Jersey will come in the form of a gold ring. The WSOP is going to try something different this month, hosting an online WSOP gold ring event that will coincide with WSOP Circuit live events being played at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. The very first online WSOP gold ring event pulled in 420 entries in Nevada, amassing a prize pool of $137,760.
There were a couple more of these bracelet events that created a prize pool that exceeded $752,000, not to forget the high-roller draw that added a staggering $1.3 million to the pool. These are the type of numbers that New Jersey needs because it would get much needed attention and attract gamblers from neighboring states like New York and Pennsylvania to the Jersey Shore.
This year, the World Series of Poker circuit is getting ready to run four different bracelet events online. In addition, they will be getting ready to run the online events in New Jersey too, and the hopes are these kind of popular events will give the Garden State a chance to recover and once again be recognized as the gambling mecca of the east coast.