With the coronavirus pandemic just beginning to take shape, all land-based casino and poker revenue in March will disappear. Pennsylvania’s only winner might be Mount Airy casino which is partners with PokerStars, the only online cardroom in the state.
COVID-19 Bites into February Results
With February a shorter month this year, and the COVID-19 outbreak spreading, gambling revenue has taken a tumble and results have been decimated month-over-month in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the latest results by the official gaming commissions in both states have shown.
As of the moment of reporting, PokerStars remains the only poker site available to Keystone State players, which should bring a fair chunk of money over March, with most players choosing not to socialize due to COVID-19 spreading. According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), PokerStars amassed $1.8 million in February, but this number should improve in March.
While poker has performed modestly, though, both New Jersey and Pennsylvania have managed to prop up their ailing casino sector by offering viable online alternatives. With sports betting suspended due to lack of events, online casinos have remained a worthy alternative.
Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Shut Down Casinos
As of now, nearly all casinos across the United States have shut down their operations, which will bite in poker results as well, unless players find their way to the online cardrooms offered in each state.
PokerStars is pushing ahead with its Spring Championship of Online Poker or SCOOP, which will run in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with a few other alternatives available as well. Yet, the biggest challenge ahead of poker states is the lack of sufficient liquidity. Players still habitually prefer to play offshore, because those markets have bigger tournaments.
While PokerStars collects close to $2 million in revenue in Pennsylvania, for example, offshore cardrooms are handing out over $2 million of guaranteed prize pools every weekend.
Valley Forge’s Results Intact Despite Brewing Trouble
While operators are scurrying to hopefully meet bigger demand online in March, Valley Forge Casino has remained one of the best performing properties in the Keystone State, claiming 25% of the revenue.
Now casinos are preparing to see a further slowdown which will leave only Mount Airy casino claiming some revenue, thanks to its partnership with PokerStars. With WSOP.com and partypoker still not announcing any official plans to launch, this is both a good and bad time for poker players.
On the one hand, the more concentrated poker options will allow PokerStars to offer better prize pools and possibly attract a larger crowd. The downside is that other cardrooms are unlikely to launch any time soon.
Poker Elsewhere Continues to Carry on as Best as It Can
While Pennsylvania will rely on PokerStars to provide residents with their daily fix of poker, Poker Central and partypoker are pushing on with a new $15 million GTD series spread across 30 events. The event will take place from Sunday, April 12 through Sunday, April 26.
Better yet, the event is fully suitable for these troubled times of COVID-19 outbreak as the Poker Masters Online Series will be played from the comfort of one’s home.