How corona may have reignited the online poker industry


In many ways, 2020 and 2021 have been very disappointing for the online gambling industry, especially the sports betting business. With the grand majority of professional sports cancelled due to lockdown at the outbreak of the corona pandemic, and the most important sport events such as Euro 2020, the Olympic Games, and the Tour de France being postponed to 2021, sports betting operators in particular have seen revenues decline greatly.

The opposite is quite true for online casinos. Due to lockdowns in pretty much every corner of the world, land-based casinos were forced to close their doors and people were locked inside their homes, leading to a significant increase in traffic at online casino websites. Online poker rooms have also seen a revival in players finally turning to online poker again after years of decreasing traffic. Some poker professionals even say that corona has reignited the online poker industry, but there are more signs that better times are coming. We’ll explain why this might just be the beginning of online poker’s comeback.

Poker Boom, Black Friday, and Corona

The years between 2003 and 2006 were commonly known as the Poker Boom, during which poker, no limit Texas Hold 'em in particular, became extremely popular around the world — including the US. This boom was thanks to the combination of big prize pools going up to millions of dollars and international tv coverage turning poker professionals into worldwide celebrities. The increasing popularity of poker was also thanks to the digital revolution that made it possible to conveniently play the card game online at paras pokerisivusto — the best poker sites. Things started to change drastically, however, when the US Department of Justice banned poker rooms in April 20211 as part of an operation to stop online money laundering, known as Black Friday. It’s been over a decade since Black Friday changed the industry and it has never really recovered. Until the corona pandemic hit the world.

The beginning of online poker’s revival?

Poker, online poker in particular, has bounced back since March 2020 due to the corona pandemic shutting down land-based casinos from Macau to Las Vegas. Poker players were forced to look for alternatives and found their way back to online poker rooms, leading to an initial, but significant recovery. Industry experts are seeing important signals that poker is recovering right now and will probably continue to grow, even though more and more casinos are slowly opening up again. The reason for this can be found in the ban on online poker from April 2011 that is now considered outdated. Both online gambling and online banking have evolved since 2011 and a lot of US states are willing to follow European countries who have decided to legalise online gambling in recent years under strict conditions. The debate about legalisation of online casinos, sports betting, and online poker in the US is therefore heating up, meaning that this might just be the beginning of online poker’s worldwide revival.

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