What Is Pala And When Did It Get A NJ Online Poker Site?

Jessica Welman Updated on March 20, 2020
Typically you hear about new competitors jumping in the New Jersey online casino market. This week though, a new operator hopped in the other online gambling pond–the one for online poker.

Pala Interactive launched Pala Poker in New Jersey this week. That makes it the sixth online poker site for the state. It joins:

More about Pala Interactive

The company behind the new site is actually based in California. Pala partnered with Borgata Casino in November of 2014. As part of the deal, New Jersey granted Pala a transactional waiver to operate in the state. At the time of the partnership, Pala planned both an online casino and a poker site.

The online casino from Pala debuted a few months later, but the wait for online poker took a lot longer.

Originally, Pala Interactive eyed the California online gambling market. However, the state cannot seem to put together a bill that can get through the state legislature. With no progress in California, Pala decided to launch elsewhere.

As part of the launch, Pala Poker will go through a five-day soft launch. Upon successful completion of that launch, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement will officially approve the site.

Is there room for Pala in the New Jersey online poker market?

It makes sense people want in the online casino market in New Jersey. That industry is booming, frequently taking in over $20 million in NJ online gambling revenue monthly. MGM Resorts launching a MGM online casino brand makes sense.

Pala Poker, well, it makes less sense. Since launching in 2014, online poker in New Jersey only posted over $3 million in monthly earnings twice. Not coincidentally, these were the first two months after launch.

Since then, online poker steadily declined. Even with the introduction of a power player like PokerStars could not move the needle. Currently online poker takes in approximately $2 million per month. That number is divided among four operators and five sites.

Now, the new PalaPoker will operate under Borgata’s gaming license. Unlike partypoker, which shares player pools with Borgata, this site will be on its own. Pala will have separate customers and live on a separate client as well.

Nonetheless, Pala Interactive has a product ready to go. While the intent was to use it in California, New Jersey will do. Even though the poker room may not generate much money, it will give the company time to tinker and get feedback on a new poker client.

Image c/o Ryan Basilio / CC BY 2.0

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