- Legal States
Mike Johnson November 8, 2020 3 min read
Online Poker Enters New Lockdown with Traffick Picking Up
Poker is on the cusp of picking up on the Internet once again with new lockdowns looming all over the world, and a traditionally fourth quarter being the strongest for the game online.
Online Poker Is Tipped for a New Ride of Popularity
Poker in the United States and Europe is tipped to surge once again, as restrictions are reintroduced and land-based alternatives are nowhere in sight. That and the fact that November and the fourth quarter of the year are traditionally periods of heightened activity among the poker community.
With online poker already surging in France, Spain and Portugal, by 30% in each market based on data by Pokerfuse, and up by 18% in Italy, Europe’s second lockdown is likely to send traffic flying up.
According to Pokerfuse, the first time around, the lockdown has had a positive impact on online poker, although it completely destroyed brick-and-mortar events, but led to some wholesome alternatives in its stead.
Speaking of, global flagship poker platforms registered a significant increase in cash games traffic. Surprisingly, it was up-and-coming platforms, and not established ones, to see the best gains over the period.
The first poker bonanza lasted between March and late-July, and it saw GGPoker and iPoker benefit the most with a reported 208% and 62% increase in poker activity. GGPoker’s phenomenal rise can be attributed to hosting the World Series of Poker, which had to move from Las Vegas to the digital frontier.
Surprisingly, established platform saw a modicum of increase over the period, and specifically PokerStars (7%), 888poker (2%) and Unibet (11%). Partypoker, though, registered a 30% uptick, the most of any established gambling brand.
Data Shows New Cash Game Seats Surge
According to GameIntel data distributed to Pokerfuse exclusively, online poker activity has started to pick up over the past several weeks. Peak global poker traffic at the time of posting had reached 15,600 concurrent players in cash games, GameIntel data revealed.
This is a far cry from the previous spike in poker activity earlier in 2020 when the covid-19 pandemic began in earnest. In March, players peaked at 55,000 cash concurrent players, and gradually normalized back to pre-pandemic levels once again in early August.
While Europe will probably see an increase in the overall poker traffic, the United States is also tipped to benefit. Partypoker has increased its numbers close to those of GGPoker, and Pennsylvania recently green-lighted the arrival of WSOP and 888poker in the state, although no licenses have been submitted yet.
Michigan may too be close to seeing online poker, with the Senate already approving a bill that would legitimize interstate poker and allow for Great Lakes players to join the shared liquidity network in the United States.
Presently, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are all part of the Multistate Internet Gaming arrangement, bar Pennsylvania which being coy about joining.
The main hurdle to the Keystone State’s joining is a new Opinion on the Wire Act introduced by the Department of Justice (DoJ)’s Legal Counsel which threatens to suspend all cross-border transfers of information.
With Joe Biden becoming the 46th President of the United States, this may no longer be the case. The DoJ has already favoured with interstate lotteries once, and the DoJ’s most recent interpretation of the law was defeated in a few courts already.