The world of online poker is flourishing and has grown rapidly over the last two decades as technology has developed further. After all, online gaming has been largely disrupted by digital transformation. The growth of this industry seems to be picking up even more pace with online market revenues growing by 30% in the last year alone.
Poker has featured on the internet since around the time the World Wide Web became available in the 1990s. The first proper online poker website, Planet Poker, emerged in 1998 with a limited range of poker tables and game options. Since then, there are millions of digital competitive options, such as online bingo games.
This early website was soon met with competition as more websites popped up with even better graphics, new product offerings, multi table tournaments and even satellites to the major poker tournament events. There are now a huge range of great poker websites such as 888 Poker with a wide range of game choices and extra features, it is now a very competitive market for online poker operators.
The 2003 Poker Boom
The first real boom in the global online poker market was seen in the year 2003. Poker popularity was already gaining momentum at this time as more people were purchasing desktop computers for their homes.
However, the real reason behind this boom was the publicity around the World Series of Poker tournament that year. The winner of the $10k main event, Chris Moneymaker, a regular player who was not well known in the industry at the time.
The really impressive part of Chris Moneymakers story is how he qualified for the competition in the first place. He found his way into the tournament via a $39 online satellite, with this being the first time a winner had come into the main event through those means.
This World Series of Poker year is also remembered due to the special camera technology that was used at the tournament tables, with the impact of this being that spectators could now follow the action live and compare the player’s decisions with the cards they were dealt.
Chris Moneymakers big win was truly eye opening to amateur players and those interested in the game, it illustrated that anyone had the potential to make it to the professional tournaments through playing poker online. Before you start, be sure to use the best accessories for your gaming experience.
Films Have Also Contributed To Poker’s Popularity
There have been a great many films that are either on the topic of poker or feature the game heavily in their storylines, seeing the suspense and possible glamour surrounding the game on the silver screen has made many audiences want to try it out for themselves.
There are the old school classic poker films such as The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Maverick (1994) and Rounders (1998) that succeeded in the box office, as well as the more recent titles like Lucky You (2007) and The Grand (2007). One film that hugely increased interest in playing poker in 2006 was the James Bond title Casino Royale.
In this film, Secret Agent 007 is tasked with defeating a private banker funding terrorists, they battle it out over a game of high stakes poker at the Casino Royale in Montenegro.
It Hasn’t Always Been Smooth Sailing For The Global Poker Industry
By 2010, technology had come a long way and the prevalence of reliable and affordable smartphones meant that fans of the game could now play poker from the convenience of their mobile phone. During that year there were almost 40 million Apple iPhone smartphones sold worldwide, meaning that the potential mobile poker market grew considerably.
However, while on the surface the poker industry was booming, in reality some online poker sites felt that they needed to pay players to help fill empty tables and drew in new customers to their sites. Around this time confidence in online poker operators was becoming damaged as there were a number of high-profile incidences where customers were cheated out of their winnings by these websites.
This is when the ‘Black Friday’ of poker occurred in the United States as on April 15, 2011, the United States Federal Government shutdown three of the main poker sites that paid out to players in the US. As a result, putting a temporary stop to the country’s online poker industry.
A year later Nevada, home of the gambling city Las Vegas, was the first state to take measures to regulate the online poker market. Shortly after a small number of other states including Delaware and New Jersey followed suit.
During the last decade more states have started to change legislation to be more inclusive of online poker as demand has continued to grow.
By the year 2015, iPhone smartphone sales had grown to 231 million. New online poker trends have emerged, and mobile gaming has gained considerable popularity over playing poker from a desktop device.
Smartphone poker players can quickly access games from mobile apps or their internet browser when out and about or on their commute to work. These devices offer a huge amount of convenience and reliable connections.
In recent years, many of the big operators in the poker industry have begun to turn their attention to the mobile market and invest more into gaming options for smartphones. These sites compete with one another through offering new customers generous welcome bonuses and no deposit options.
In the future, we can expect the mobile poker trend to continue as the rollout of the 5G network gathers pace in many areas of the world. The online poker industry will use this opportunity to introduce new, more advanced gaming options to players.