The Delaware Lottery released its December net proceeds from iGaming, which means the entirety of the 2020 year is now available. And the numbers showed tremendous growth, as expected.
Due to the shutdowns of Delaware racinos – not to mention limited capacity for most of the open months – caused by the coronavirus pandemic, online gaming revenue grew. Most months saw impressive increases in everything from online poker to video lottery. The fall and beginning of winter months slowed but never as far down as to hit the 2019 numbers.
The online gaming industry in Delaware collected more than $8.4 million in net proceeds in 2020, with more than $639K of that attributed to online poker rake and fees. The total increase of the market was 137%, and poker showed its own strength with a 120% annual rise. Even new registrations rose 66% on the year.
Let’s break it down.
Online Poker: A Down Month but Up Year
The little poker market that could…almost did show an uptick from November to December. However, it couldn’t quite pull it off. It was the only segment of the Delaware iGaming market that didn’t grow in December.
As the second wave of the coronavirus spread far and wide in the United States, many people who frequented the three Delaware racinos stayed home in December. They played more online table games, bought into the video lottery but didn’t play more online poker.
–December 2020 online poker rake/fees: $36,013.55 (1.3% month-on-month decrease)
–November 2020: $36,471.93 (15.7% decrease)
–October 2020: $43,276.35 (15.8% decrease)
–September 2020: $51,403.61 (5.83% decrease)
–August 2020: $54,584.02 (12.8% decrease)
–July 2020: $62,603.99 (8.4% increase)
–June 2020: $57,742.58 (38.6% decrease)
–May 2020: $93,973.39 (11.8% increase)
–April 2020: $84,033.67 (45.7% increase)
–March 2020: $57,689.50 (86.9% increase)
–February 2020: $30,870.96 (1.3% decrease)
–January 2020: $31,279.77
It’s easy to see the roller coaster of a year for online poker. The most significant growth happened in March, April, and May, during the original coronavirus-mandated lockdowns. The market then dipped in June, pulled itself back up in July, and decreased from there ever since.
Even so, the year-on-year numbers remain solid. That yearly growth started even before the pandemic and showed improvement every single month of 2020.
For the full year of 2020, online poker more than doubled its revenue:
–Full 2020 online poker rake/fees: $639,943.32 (120% increase)
–Full 2019 online poker rake/fees: $290,934.63
Internet Gaming: Strong Monthly and Annually
In some ways, the entire Delaware iGaming market followed the online poker trend, only in larger numbers. The big increases happened in March, April, and May – during the lockdowns. However, it strayed from the poker market with an increase in August and a more substantial one in September.
This segment of Delaware gaming revenue saw an overall impressive rise in 2020. The December total shows an 80% increase from January of 2020. And in a small market like Delaware, the money means more to the state and goes further to benefit its residents.
–December 2020 igaming revenue total: $698,477.05 (23% month-on-month increase)
–November 2020: $568,069.44 (11.8% decrease)
–October 2020: $643,714.34 (23.4% decrease)
–September 2020: $840,146.49 (39% increase)
–August 2020: $808,623.37 (14.7% increase)
–July 2020: $705,532.70 (26.9% decrease)
–June 2020: $964,606.96 (15% decrease)
–May 2020: $1,134,900.04 (32.6% increase)
–April 2020: $856,181.94 (66.3% increase)
–March 2020: $514,959.34 (58.5% increase)
–February 2020: $324,957.62 (16.2% decrease)
–January 2020: $387,865.46
For nearly every industry in Delaware, 2020 was unpredictable. One thing was certain, however. When land-based gambling stopped through no fault of its own, residents had alternative entertainment by playing online. And the state continued to collect anywhere from $500K to $1M per month in revenue.
For states that have authorized gambling in any form, there is no reason – with all of the technology and information available in 2021 – not to also legalize some forms of online gambling. States like Delaware show that everyone benefits, especially when faced with unforeseen circumstances.
–Full 2020 internet gaming revenue: $8,448,034.75 (137% increase)
–Full 2019 internet gaming revenue: $3,569,677.51
New Registrations: Ending on a High Note
This number was interesting in 2020, as it only had two months of increasing numbers earlier in the year. New registrations on the sites increased very significantly in March, less in April, and fell every month for the rest of the year…until December. It ended with a positive uptick.
–December 2020 new registrations: 572 (43% month-on-month increase)
–November 2020: 400 (18.7% decrease)
–October 2020: 492 (9.9% decrease)
–September 2020: 546 (4.4% decrease)
–August 2020: 571 (14.5% decrease)
–July 2020: 668 (24.2% decrease)
–June 2020: 881 (11.3% decrease)
–May 2020: 993 (29.6% decrease)
–April 2020: 1,410 (52% increase)
–March 2020: 930 (115.8% increase)
–February 2020: 431 (7.9% decrease)
–January 2020: 468
A limited population means that new registrations will taper off at some point. It looks as if that happened in 2020. The year-on-year increase, therefore, wasn’t as impressive as the revenue boosts, but it is notable nonetheless.
–Full 2020 new registrations: 8,362 (66% increase)
–Full 2019 new registrations: 5,026
We’d like to thank ALL who played the Delaware Lottery in 2020. We wish you a prosperous 2021. pic.twitter.com/OPiqgJp0Pw
— The Delaware Lottery (@DELottery) December 31, 2020
What to Expect in 2021
For the most part, the trajectory of iGaming in Delaware in 2021 is as unpredictable as for most other industries. Everything will depend predominantly on the coronavirus pandemic and the vaccines for it.
From a broad perspective, though, Delaware may be able to keep up some of its new baseline revenue. Now that more than 8,000 new players discovered the online options in 2020, at least some of them will continue to take advantage of that online gaming convenience.
The only hope for poker to increase in any substantial way is for it to become a part of the World Series of Poker Circuit events. Delaware is connected to New Jersey and Nevada WSOP.com sites, as they operate on the same 888poker platform. And that network will grow in 2021 to include Pennsylvania and Michigan. For some reason, though, Delaware players are not allowed to collect WSOP bracelets and rings. If the WSOP can remedy that issue, the state will experience significant online poker growth.