Will online poker ever return to its glory days?

The online poker industry has been on a steady decline. Arguably, it will never return to its glory days of 2006-2009, but even if it does, the online poker industry still faces many challenges.


The Peak


At its peak in 2006, 888 Holdings made a profit of approximately €1m per day from playing money games. In 2009, PokerStars earned an estimated €2bn from gaming-tax-free countries where it was legal to do so – much more when taking its revenue from the taxman into account.


The Fall


However, there has been a steady decline since 2009 when the country’s courts banned online poker in France and Italy. During this year, the US Department of Justice indicted PokerStars for violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).


The Arrival of PokerStars


The 카지노커뮤니티 poker industry hasn’t been good since. It took four years before PokerStars was allowed to operate legal games anywhere in the world again, and it wasn’t until last year that the company finally returned to the US.


The average daily users (DAU) on PokerStars’ online network has dropped from its peak of 127,000 to around 65,000 currently. 888’s numbers are down by half – dropping from over 230,000 DAUs at its height to 120,000 presently. It is estimated that PartyPoker has an average of 2,000 players at any given time.


The Analysis


It is expected that the US will continue to be a difficult market for online poker companies – not just due to its size and population but also because it is such a new industry there. On top of this, some states prohibit the practice on religious grounds, while others are worried about increased crime.


It is believed that because it is illegal to operate online poker sites in several countries, including Italy, France, and Hungary, the industry will not return to its glory days again. Furthermore, many of Europe’s existing online poker companies may choose to move their headquarters elsewhere – perhaps outside of Europe.

Daniel Smyth reports that it is expected that the revenue from regulated online poker in the US will be $1m per day within a year – but this still pales into insignificance when compared to unregulated markets such as Macau, where poker rooms are believed to generate around €10bn annually.


Unregulated online poker continues to be a threat to the regulated market, where individuals can play from anywhere. This kind of activity is illegal in most parts of the world and difficult to crack down on for this very reason.


To Sum this up


In the regulated online poker market, operators will have to find a way to make their product stand out from all other competition. It is believed that the only way this can be done is by giving more players a bigger slice of a smaller pie – but it isn’t easy to know what exactly will work.

The online poker industry is still too young to say what the cause of its decline is. However, what is known is that online poker will not return to its glory days on its own – something needs to change for this to occur.