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Online Poker on the Rise During the Global Crisis

We all know that life is unpredictable, yet we keep this notion in the back of our heads, as modern society has gotten us used to a sense of routine. However, 2020 showed us that things change in an instant, and as they do, they can leave us fumbling as we try to adapt to our new circumstances.

While many may think that online poker has long surpassed its peak and that times when online card platforms ruled the world has passed, going by stats, that’s not entirely true, especially today. The global crisis has inadvertently provided a jolt to the sphere, as players have been unavoidably redirected to sites like PartyPoker to satisfy their card-playing appetite, which, in turn, has provided the industry a much-needed boost.

Social Distancing and Convenience

Due to the ongoing global situation, governments from all over had to either close businesses or let them work under regulations that are extremely limiting. Casinos came back to life in June, though operating at 50% capacity, implementing social distancing guidelines. Cautiousness and these new practices have kept customers away from gaming venues, as some cardrooms are experiencing the blunt force of the crisis.

Harrah’s poker room in Vegas is one casualty, as it is the first to permanently close its doors, though it probably will not be the last. Just as poker rooms opened in June, Gavin Newsom, California’s Governor, closed them again in July. Now many are trying to operate their business outside while enforcing social distancing. However, the damage has already happened. Many players have shifted to online platforms, enjoying the convenience of playing from home or anywhere through their mobile phones.

Revenues Soar in Multiple Markets

According to stats, Online poker play is up 63% in the US. Not only that, but there’s a 255% increase in first-time players. Reports say that iPoker operators in New Jersey brought in 4.8 million in July, an increase of $3 million compared to the same month last year.

In Australia, an April study showed a 67% increase in online gambling activity for that month. In France, while sports betting revenues have gone down 56% compared to the same time last year, online poker has shown an upturn with a 126% increase in last years’ figures.

Will Online Poker Decline Next Year?

However, while online poker has been flourishing worldwide these past few months, some are wondering what will happen when land-based cardrooms return to business as usual? Whether or not the surge is sustainable depends on the attempts made to retain returning or new users so that they stay loyal. Promotions offered will play a massive role in preserving some of these impressive numbers.

Nevertheless, there will inevitably be some decline, as this rise is not sustainable. That said, the fact that many top online platforms are moving their tournaments online will no doubt foster habits and nurture behavior that is bound to stay with players long after the crisis has passed.