Poker is among the most frequently-played card games around the globe. However, according to the data provided by experts and daily news on the poker industry, the past decade wasn’t a profitable period for the market. The pandemic and crisis caused by it made significant adjustments to this sector.
A founder and event director of the Malta Poker Festival, Ivonne Montealegre, provided her opinion on the overall situation in the poker market. She supported the idea that poker was flat-lined over the last decade. She emphasized that this gambling market segment was thriving during difficult times. It wasn’t the best climate for poker to expand the horizons.
The speaker has commented on the state of the poker sector under current conditions: “It is a very interesting time for the poker vertical. Online platforms, which provide poker services, experience considerable growth because live poker is shut down, together with sports betting. Poker is an interesting industry because it offers its fans both, offline and online kinds of entertainment. The offline segment is dead now but gamblers’ involvement in online poker is growing and it means that this sphere will keep rising and face its second wave of popularity”.
Ivonne is also sure that poker won’t get back to its traditional format, as we know it. Casinos will face the need to establish new protocols. They won’t be able to continue working based on previous standards but will need to adapt to different requirements. This situation has shown land-based casinos that some online solutions should be deployed anyway.
As for changes in customer behavior, the speaker acknowledged that players became smarter. They understand what an affiliate business is and how they can benefit from it. At the same time, there are many newcomers in online poker – people who miss live poker during the lockdown and have decided to switch to its online version for some period. That is why quarantine is the best time for customer acquisition.
Speaking about the state of the poker industry in various countries, Ivonne has said: “Latin America is a super gold mine for poker. Sports betting has been more popular in the countries earlier but it has big trouble now because the majority of events are canceled. It is worth mentioning that mobile poker apps are exploding in China, for example. People enjoy playing their favorite games on smartphones: they participate in tournaments and communicate with each other. It means that poker becomes more oriented toward mobile devices, not a laptop.”
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