Delaware online poker revenue numbers for January 2015 are in and the story they tell is pretty grim.
Compared to last January, online poker earnings for the state were down a whopping 220%, according to the Delaware Lottery Commission. In dollars and cents, that’s just $27,695.45 and nowhere near what the numbers state officials were hoping for when they introduced online gambling back in 2013.
Though online poker seems to be tanking in Delaware, online table games are doing pretty well. In the first month of 2015, they clocked earnings of around $67,047. While that’s not exactly a break-the-bank number, it is up 66% over Delaware’s January 2014 online table gaming revenue.
One of the biggest problems for small state online poker is, as Lee Davy over at CalvinAyre.com points out, a lack of liquidity. With just 935,614 residents, Delaware is the 46th smallest US State by population and that doesn’t exactly make for a competitive poker environment.
Though Delaware is working on an interstate gambling compact with Nevada, that may wind up being a case of too little, too late. After all, Nevada’s 2.8 million residents are having trouble keeping their own online poker industry alive.
Delaware’s tale is a microcosm of the larger problems the US igaming industry faces in the absence of a Federal-level online gambling bill.
As each state goes it alone, operators are forced to deal with a patchwork of regulations and the industry itself is forced to hang while sparsely populated areas (like Nevada) attempt to build up market share. That’s not exactly a recipe for success and, given the US Congress’ inability to pass meaningful legislation of any kind, it’s not a situation that’s likely to be resolved anytime soon.