Online Poker takes the concept of playing poker for real money and cranks it up a notch. Players can play for the smallest stakes imaginable (literally pennies) and can win satellite entries into the most prestigious live poker tournaments in the world. And you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
People love poker because it’s an easy-to-play, intellectual game that can be thrilling. And unlike slots or the lottery, it rewards actual skill. Online poker is the same, but with the added convenience of being available 24/7 from anywhere you have an internet connection.
While there is still a lot of interest in online poker, the number of new subscribers declined from its peak in late 2009. This may be due to a number of factors such as decreased marketing efforts, the availability of other forms of online gambling (e.g., sports betting), or regulatory changes that limit the ways sites can invest player funds. Alternatively, it could be the result of changing attitudes towards online gambling.
Another potential reason for the decline in new subscribers is that the average age of those joining Entain increased from 2009 to 2018. This trend is mirrored in other studies of online poker players (Dufour et al., 2015; Hopley et al., 2012; Palomaki et al., 2016). In addition, this age trend is consistent with other studies of online gambling that suggest that players are aging more quickly than the population at large.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, poker websites saw a massive increase in traffic as more recreational and professional players switched to online games over their traditional live ones. This was mainly due to the fact that live events were cancelled and players were forced to take up their online poker habit.
The resurgence of the industry was short-lived, however, as the DOJ moved to try to apply the Wire Act to online poker and other types of gambling. While states passed legislation and regulated poker, this was a state-by-state affair. The DOJ’s attempt to ring-fence the poker markets prevented the formation of a unified network that would allow players from different states to interact.
The online poker industry has since grown to include over 30 regulated operators in the US. This is a dramatic increase from the nascent days of the industry when it was nearly entirely unregulated. With more states set to regulate poker in the near future, it’s likely that multi-state poker networks will become a reality. In the meantime, players can still access a variety of different poker rooms and join a wide range of tournaments. They can even do this from their smartphones and tablets. However, it’s important to play responsibly and understand the risks of addiction. If you have any concerns, please contact a gambling treatment specialist. There’s no shame in seeking help.