Online poker has been regulated in the state of New Jersey for 6 months now, and as in every race or competition, there comes a time when clear winners emerge and stamp their authority on proceedings. There are 5 online poker operations in the Garden State and only so many online poker players in the pool and it’s now pretty clear which of those rooms have taken the lead and of course will intend to stay there.
The three poker rooms that have all but faded into the background are Ultimate Poker who launched with below par software, Betfair who in all honesty never really got started and focused more on their casino product and surprisingly 888 Poker who will want to look at player communication for their troubles. This leaves the two standout rooms in operation in New Jersey, those of WSOP.com and Party Poker who are partnered with the Borgata Hotel and Casino and these two offerings will be hoping that now thy have the lead, that they can keep it, and all the signs are that they most likely will.
The competition as far as regulated online poker rooms is concerned has been beaten and they are also being assisted by the fact that many offshore poker rooms have pulled out of the New Jersey market. Just a few weeks ago the Winning Poker Network announced that they would say goodbye to business in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey taking out the rooms of Americas Cardroom and True Poker with them, and just this week Full Flush Poker did the same thing, with the only large established offshore room remaining in business in the state being that of Bovada Poker. At this time it’s unclear whether Bovada will close their doors to New Jersey residents, it would be extremely helpful to Party and WSOP.com if they do, however as the largest US facing online poker room, Bovada may plan on sticking around.
The fact that the WSOP is by far the more recognizable brand and the fact that the World Series is almost upon us, giving that brand even more exposure, means that they should continue their growth over the coming months, however many players may be looking at the large guaranteed tournaments on Party/Borgata with the $50K Weekly Guaranteed sure to be pulling in a few players. Whatever happens in the next few months these two rooms will consolidate their lead in the state, however neither can match the promotional pulling power and cash game action of Bovada.