Lockdown shows surge in online poker industry
It has been a rough year for all of us in 2020 with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Lives and businesses were put on hold and with so many people losing work, a fear of uncertainty spread. With the economy suffering in these unprecedented times, it was expected that the online gambling industry would too. When in fact, quite the opposite happened, the global online poker industry has increased by a massive 43 percent.
The lockdowns effect on the online poker industry
Poker is already an extremely popular game that has been around for centuries. While the true origins of the game are yet to be determined, some say it dates as far back as the sixteenth century. Even prior to any talk of lockdowns, reports estimate that 40 million people were already playing poker regularly so it is safe to say it is one of the world’s most popular games.
The 43 percent increase can be put down to all of us spending significantly more time at home so if you’re already an online poker player, it is only natural that online playing time would increase too. It is not just existing online poker players that contribute to the global growth. The amount of first-time online poker players has risen by a whopping 255%.
If we had been a year ago, all large public gatherings would be banned, including all global sporting events, weddings and celebrations. Pubs, casinos and other venues would close for such long periods due to a virus sweeping the world, no one would have believed such a thing could happen. Let alone that it would go on for so long, with it taking up the best part of a year and now going into second lockdowns. So, with poker players unable to play at local casinos, card rooms or even friends’ houses, it is only natural that players would turn to playing online. Or even non poker players who are simply looking for a new game while bored at home.
With the number of online gambling outlets growing by the day, player have more options than ever for playing poker online. The UKGC however have not felt the effects of the gambling boom, with them reporting no significant rise in player activity. However, casinos not on gamstop and non-UK betting sites have noticed a significant increase in both new and existing players online gambling activities. The UKGCs regulations have only grown stronger in recent years, forcing many players to opt for non-UK sites instead. These sites come equipped with casino lobby’s, poker rooms and betting sites all in one. Plus, the option of No verification casinos is an attractive appeal.
The future of online poker
So, what’s in store for the future of online poker? It’s a safe bet to say that online poker isn’t going anywhere. The level of the game’s popularity is enough to secure online pokers future success. While PokerStars have done this for years, more and more online casinos and poker sites are now adding the feature where players can host private games with friends furthering it as a viable option.
As land-based casinos and poker rooms start to reopen with limited operating hours, players still need to decide to take the risk of spending time in such close proximity as others. And with social distancing measures in place, who’s to say it will give the same fun experience. As people get used to the new normal and get used to playing poker online, we predict many people will continue to opt for playing poker online even way after the lockdowns end. The convenience of playing at home matched with the many poker options all in one place, makes playing online a no brainer.