The problem comes down to liquidity
When you play on a site like BetfairCasino.com, you don’t need to have other people playing the games along with you. You can simply log in to your account and start playing a slot machine, table game, or video poker. In other words, the action is always available, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
This is not always the case on some of the poker sites New Jersey offers. For example, if the game you really want to play is High Stakes Limit Razz, chances are you are going to have a difficult time finding someone to play the game along with you. For this reason, someone craving high stakes action might veer toward the casino side of things, rather than find a lower stakes game or other form of poker.
When it comes to poker rooms, action breeds action. Once players go to a site a few times and they are unable to find the action they want, they will start to look elsewhere. If the action is always going, they will continue to come back and play.
Poker lacks the jackpots of casinos, but that may be changing
Another possible reason why New Jersey online casinos consistently out-perform the state’s online poker is the lack of huge payouts on the poker sites. For the cost of a cup of coffee, players can log on to a site like VirginCasino.com or TropicanaCasino.com and play progressive slots (read all of our NJ online casino reviews here). If they happen to get lucky, there is a chance players can walk away with thousands of dollars in their pocket.
With a lack of players and small turnouts for online poker tournaments, this opportunity is not as available on the poker side of things. Fortunately, PokerStarsNJ.com has come up with a way to compete.
The PokerStarsNJ.com’s Spin & Go’s are a form of poker in which a three-handed turbo Sit n’ Go-style tournament is played: the difference being a portion of the prize pool goes into a pool. Once all the players are seated in the tournament, a wheel spins and the amount of the first place prize is chosen at random. First place in these tournaments can be anywhere from twice to 10,000x the initial buy-in.
The two largest poker sites at the time of this writing are PokerStarsNJ.com and WSOP.com. If Texas Hold’em or Omaha are your games, there are always games going. Both of these sites offer great welcoming packages as well. PokerStarsNJ.com will give players a 100-percent match bonus up to $600 for first-time depositors (bonus code STARS600), and WSOP.com offers a 100-percent match bonus up to $400.
One way that poker could challenge casinos …
For online poker to really take off and start competing with online casinos, interstate player pooling would need to take place. This would dramatically increase the number of games, increase the prize pools in tournaments, and make for a much better gaming experience overall.
At the time if this writing, efforts are already being made to share player pools with other states, and possibly even other countries. New Jersey wants to serve as a regulatory hub for other US states in the process of legalizing online gambling. New Jersey Gambling Enforcement director David Rebuck promoted these aspirations at the East Coast Gaming Congress in May 2015 and has engaged in several conversations with regulators from the UK over the issue of sharing player pools.
With these efforts in place, we look forward to New Jersey online poker competing more effectively with online casinos in the near future.