Another One Bites The Dust: Reports Indicate That 888Poker Will Leave New Jersey In June

The online gambling community in New Jersey is bracing for another high-profile departure as reports emerge that 888Poker will cease operations in the state on June 3, 2024. 

Following the exit of the UK-based 888 Holdings plc from the US market, 888Poker’s sister platform 888Casino will also shut down its New Jersey online casino site and mobile app.

888Poker currently operates alongside five other online poker sites in New Jersey, including PokerStars,, Borgata Poker, PartyPoker, and BetMGM Poker.

iGaming Giant 888 Holding to Exit US 

According to multiple authoritative sources, 888 Holdings plc., the London-based parent company behind 888Poker and 888Casino, has officially confirmed plans to shut down its New Jersey operations next month. This decisive action aligns with the company’s broader strategy to streamline its global gaming holdings and refocus its efforts on markets deemed more lucrative and conducive to long-term growth.

The UK operator is currently active in four states, with 888Casino and 888Poker in New Jersey, as well as SI Online Casino and SI Sportsbook in Michigan. The sports betting platform, SI Sportsbook, is also live in Virginia and Colorado.

Outside the US, 888 is primarily focused on the UK market, as well as countries such as Italy, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Israel, and more. Aside from 888Poker and 888casino, some of its other well-known gaming brands include 888Sport, Mr Green, and William Hill.

888Poker’s NJ Exit has Been Imminent

The writing has been on the wall for 888’s New Jersey exit since February 2024, when the company announced its intention to sell off its US gaming assets to Hard Rock Digital. Owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hard Rock Digital operates online sports betting, social gaming apps, and online casinos across several states.

888’s divestment move, characterized as a “strategic review of its US B2C operations,” was designed to consolidate its operations in regions with higher growth potential. The operator also plans to scale back its poker and casino offerings in the increasingly competitive North American market.

As part of the acquisition deal, Hard Rock Digital will inherit certain gaming assets from 888, though the company has not indicated plans to introduce an online poker offering in New Jersey, at least in the near term. This decision could further consolidate the state’s online poker market, potentially benefiting rivals like WSOP and partypoker by reducing competition.

Poor Market Performance

Recent data from New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) shows declining revenue of 888Poker in the Garden State. 

In March 2024, the platform accounted for just 0.67% of the state’s online poker market share. The operator generated a mere $47,954 in revenue from online poker – a staggeringly low figure compared to industry leaders like WSOP and partypoker. 

This dismal performance, coupled with the intense competition from well-capitalized rivals, likely precipitated the decision to withdraw from the state.

The upcoming exit of 888Poker and 888Casino will undoubtedly impact New Jersey’s online poker market, although the extent of the disruption remains to be seen. With a limited number of operators in the state, players may find themselves with fewer options in the short term.

WSOP will Serve as an Alternative

While 888Poker and 888Casino are bidding farewell to New Jersey, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) platform, which shares underlying technological infrastructure with 888, will maintain its presence in the state. This continuity is crucial, as WSOP is a key participant in the tri-state online poker compact involving New Jersey, Michigan, and Nevada – an initiative touted as a potential game-changer for the industry.

The planned integration of player pools across these three states remains firmly on track, ensuring that New Jersey residents will continue to have access to a robust online poker ecosystem, albeit with one fewer operator in the mix. This development is particularly significant given the recent struggles of the online poker vertical, which has largely remained dormant over the past decade.

Customers Asked to Withdraw their Funds

Current customers of 888Poker and 888Casino in New Jersey have been advised to withdraw any outstanding funds from their accounts by June 3, 2024, the date on which the platforms will officially cease operations in the state. After this cutoff date, 888 will issue checks for any remaining balances in the coming months.

The departure of 888Poker and 888Casino represents the first significant exit of an online poker operator from New Jersey since the tumultuous events of 2014. That’s when Ultimate Poker and Betfair ceased operations due to their affiliations with the now-defunct Trump-branded casinos in Atlantic City. 

New Jersey’s online poker market is one of only six states in the United States where such activities are legal and regulated. Despite the impending loss of 888Poker, the continued presence of WSOP, along with other established platforms like BetMGM Poker and PartyPoker, ensures that Garden State residents will still have viable options for online poker entertainment in the foreseeable future.

Besides, the tri-state compact involving New Jersey, Michigan, and Nevada promises to revitalize the market by pooling liquidity across multiple jurisdictions, potentially offsetting the impact of 888Poker’s withdrawal and breathing new life into an industry segment that has largely stagnated in recent years. This development could pave the way for additional states to join the alliance, further bolstering the online poker ecosystem nationwide.

Wrapping Up

The exit of 888Poker and 888Casino from New Jersey shows the challenges operators face in achieving profitability and market relevance across multiple jurisdictions with disparate regulatory frameworks and consumer preferences.

While the exit of these two platforms may temporarily disrupt the state’s online poker ecosystem, the continued presence of industry heavyweights like WSOP and the anticipated benefits of the tri-state compact suggest that New Jersey’s digital gaming landscape will remain vibrant and competitive in the long run. Nonetheless, players and industry watchers alike should brace for further disruptions.

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