Is online poker due another spike in popularity?

With the prospect of live poker events being postponed it is likely that online poker will see a boost in popularity but will it last?

When online gaming burst onto the scenes in the early 2000’s, poker was able to break through and reach relative mainstream success.

Due to its popularity more live events were held and many were beginning to be shown on TV as the audience increased. Names such as Tom Dwan, Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu, who were well known in gaming circles suddenly became celebrities in their own right. In recent years though online poker has suffered. Rather than being shown on TV, poker fans now flock to YouTube and Twitch to find their poker fix.

The early days of internet poker were notorious for players to be able to increase their bank roll due to the lack of quality opposition. As more people began to play, the threshold for being a competent poker player increased. This in turn drove many of the low-level players away.

When this is coupled with varying levels of regulation throughout the world, particularly in the US, there has been a decline in online poker in recent years.

With recent announcements of Triton events being postponed amongst others, coupled with the efforts of poker companies to reclaim their online poker glory, the perfect storm for another spike in online poker popularity could be around the corner.

It has already been noted that in recent weeks there has been an increase in online poker, as more people stay at home due to the cancellation or postponing of worldwide events.

One key aspect that could dramatically change the poker market depends on regulation however. The US is currently looking at the possibility of relaxing regulations in regards to online betting. Presidential candidate Andrew Yang was a big supporter of such initiatives. With the popularity of poker within the US, coupled with the tax benefits, it makes logical sense for the US government to examine the possibility of relaxing regulations. This would be a boon for many poker sites, allowing access to a wealth of new customers.

Online poker sites should also see a further increase in users coming online. The question remains though, if their popularity increases, how will they retain these players playing online poker?

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