Poker has been a popular US pastime since the mid-19th century when the game in the form we know it as today made its way to North America from Europe. However, it exploded in popularity in the mid-2000s. There are multiple reasons why this occurred, ranging from the movie Rounders to WSOP ESPN broadcasts. Their combination caused what many now refer to as the poker boom period. Though this term often gets easily thrown around, its use as relating to poker and the beginning of the 21st century is apt because, according to Christiansen Capital Advisors, online poker revenues rose from $82.7 million in 2001 to $2.4 billion only four years later.
Following the events of Black Friday in 2011, when the US Department of Justice seized the domain names of Absolute Poker, Full Tilt, and PokerStars, freezing their player’s balances, the game’s popularity drastically declined. After a few years of slumber, in 2020, many gambling enthusiasts rediscovered it on their search for entertainment options while obeying stay-at-home measures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Global and American poker sites saw a spike in user numbers as this gambling option again stepped into the limelight. The convenience of playing from anywhere via smartphone applications also had a lot to do with its resurgence.
Apps Are Contributing to the Rise of Online Casino & Poker Sites
Though most people believe mobile apps debuted in 2008 when the Apple App Store and Google Play launched, that is a false notion. In concept, such software has been around since personal digital assistants hit the market in the 1980s. Naturally, today’s iterations are far more multifaceted. Concerning online gambling, the first casino and poker apps appeared in 2010, when Switch Poker became the world’s first mobile real-money poker site compatible with Apple devices. From then on, every big brand in this sector looked to develop dedicated software that would provide ease of use.
Indian-research firm Fortune Business Insights recently released a report titled Online Gambling Market 2021-2028, which predicts that this industry will hit a market size of $158 billion by 2028. One of the main reasons listed in this report why this will happen is the proliferation of smartphone software and widespread mobile adoption. Pretty much every international brand worth its salt now has a mobile app, and Google Play recently loosened its measures regarding featuring real money gambling apps on its platform. Thus, more operators are now likely to invest the funds necessary to develop such software due to its wider acceptance.
It is public knowledge that the online gaming industry had an exceptional 2020, with online poker being one of its best performers. After years of stagnation on account of strenuous market conditions, poker saw a natural surge in activity last April, the kind that the game has not noted in years. However, online poker trafficked declined from July onwards. Though, despite that trend, most operators managed to retain many customers. In New Jersey alone, the state’s top three online card platforms managed to bring in nearly $40 million in revenues in 2020, which is by far the most revenue reported for a single year in the state. The previous all-time high was $29 million in 2014. Now, BetMGM and Borgata Poker have joined PokerStars as licensed Pennsylvania poker operators, as more US territories are loosening regulations to make this gambling option available to their residents. Tax revenues for the state were also record-breaking in 2020.
Everyone Is Releasing Social Poker Apps
Real money games aside, social play is also booming. Recently the group chatting platform Discord announced that they would add a built-in poker app to their software which will feature audio and video feed options. Popular real money platform GGPoker also released a social app, ClubGG, where players can set up their clubs and play with friends. Until now, GGPoker was the only name online room that did not permit users to create club-based private games.
Per rumors, other real money brands in this sector are considering releasing social apps. Such moves come at the heels of apps like PokerBros, PPPoker, PokerKing, and Poker Face flourishing during the pandemic. In this app category, Zynga Poker has been a mainstay for more than a decade. Its principal competitor is World Series of Poker WSOP Texas Hold ‘em by Playtika. Though once a massive powerhouse in this field, Zynga Poker now holds less than a 6% market share in the social gambling genre.
To Wrap Up
Convenience is king. Like every other service on the internet, this is also online poker’s chief allure. Furthermore, mobile apps facilitate hassle-free payments via multiple digital payment avenues, and they provide a vast array of promotions. Thus, it is unlikely that the rise of poker apps will stop any time soon, specifically, due to governments’’ stances on regulating online gambling growing laxer on account of them needing new tax revenues to compensate for budget shortfalls.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.