Online poker has proven to be a big hit with Pennsylvania’s gambling customers, according to figures released for the month of December.

Figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board showed that the state’s only licensed online poker operator, PokerStars, recorded revenue of $2.5 million during December. Online poker betting in the state officially had a soft launch at the start of November, but December was the first month of full trading for PokerStars in the state. Online gambling was originally legalised by the Pennsylvania state legislature at the end of 2017.

PokerStars earned their state gaming license through a deal with the Mount Airy Casino, and so far, the deal appears to be a good one for the operator. Figures show that they average around 400 players using the site at any one time. That figure is four times higher than the PokerStars sister site in the neighbouring state of New Jersey. However, New Jersey poker fans are also able to play through the WSOP.com site, which shares a player pool with Delaware and Nevada.

Although that figure of $2.5 million is less than 1% of the $291.8 million in gross gambling revenue in the state, online gambling is continuing to grow quickly in the state. The online sports betting sector in Pennsylvania is recording revenue that is almost three times higher than the retail sports betting outlets. That replicates the pattern in New Jersey. The Garden State has the second largest betting market in the US, and figures for 2019 showed that online betting produced $8.4 million, compared to just $3 million for retail sports betting venues.

In total, adding in the effect of online table games, slots and fantasy sports, the Pennsylvania online betting market produced $22.4 million in revenue, around 8% of the total revenue, with slots games leading the way, producing $187.5 million in December.

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