TV Poker And NJ Online Casino Revenue Upping The Stakes This Week

Posted on August 20, 2017

[toc]Summer is basically over, and some things are starting to get serious. Granted, New Jersey and its booming online casino industry has never been anything to laugh at.

In Pennsylvania, there is a small hope lawmakers will start to get serious about the online gambling bill too.

Meanwhile in Nevada and California, TV poker brought out the biggest names in the game, and sent a very clear message that there is more than just WSOP coverage when it comes to poker entertainment.

New Jersey online casinos have another month with $20 million in revenue

For the fifth-straight month, the New Jersey online casino industry took in over $20 million in revenue. July’s performance helped push the all-time revenue for the industry past $600 million. For those keeping track at home, that is $600 million in less than four years.

Additionally, as we noted earlier this week, the success of online casinos has a positive impact on land-based casinos too. After years of struggling, Atlantic City is on pace to see revenue rise year-over-year for the first time in a decade.

However, there are opportunities for New Jersey casinos to do even more to bolster their bank accounts. For example, they can wait for the Supreme Court to weigh in on sports betting, sure. But until then, they should be doing more to examine possible daily fantasy sports partnerships.

The question is when other states are ever going to take notice of how well the industry is faring. Even more importantly, when they observe the state has taken in over $100 million in tax revenue.

Pennsylvania continues to twiddle its thumbs on gambling expansion

One state that could stand to be paying attention to what is happening in New Jersey is Pennsylvania. The state legislature still does not have a solution to its budget shortfall, let alone any progress on its gambling expansion package.

Next month, lawmakers are at least going to discuss the issue. The Senate Law & Justice Committee called for a hearing on the expansion member on Sept. 15.

More specifically, the hearing will focus on video gambling terminals (VGTs). The gaming terminals are, by many accounts, the dealbreaker keeping the gambling bill from going through.

Critics of VGTs worry they will cannibalize the brick and mortar casinos. Proponents point to the number of illegal machines they claim are operating in the state already.

Thanks to its high tax rates on gaming, Pennsylvania casinos rake in a ton of money for the state. Our own Martin Derbyshire wonders if people should be right to worry gambling expansion could negatively impact the existing industry.

Poker on TV just keeps getting more volatile

The return of Poker After Dark this past week lived up to the hype. The return of Tom Dwan to the television tables did as well. However, it is fair to say Dwan’s massive profits over three days of play had less to do with poker skill and more to do with running way ahead of expectation.

Dwan experienced his fair share of monster pots. The one the railbirds could not stop talking about was a $700,000 cooler where Daniel Negreanu had pocket queens, Antonio Esfandiari had pocket kings, and Dwan had pocket aces.

Perhaps the timing of the other big poker TV news of the week was coincidental. Or perhaps Phil Hellmuth just could not stand someone else being in the spotlight too long.

Either way, the World Poker Tour announced Hellmuth is taking over Tony Dunst’s former role as the host of the show’s Raw Deal segment. Now that Dunst is in Mike Sexton’s old seat, Hellmuth is stepping in.

Some critics of the decision point to the original point of the segment, which was to bring in a totally new voice. Hellmuth is a lot of things, but unknown is not one of them.

US Poker also wonders if Hellmuth will be up to the challenge. Certainly he has experience on camera. But will this new role go to Hellmuth’s already big head?

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com. A graduate of Indiana University and USC, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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