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Poker Sites See Surge in Activity During Lockdown

Traffic Up


When talking about coronavirus, we shouldn’t really be framing the impact of the pandemic in the sense of winners, losers and beneficiaries. So, for that reason, we are going to choose our words carefully here. However, it is a fact that poker and gaming sites are getting a bit of a surge at the moment as people adjust to their lives during the lockdown. And, we can speculate as to why that is the case (beyond the obvious), what it means and if it can be sustained.

Before anyone with shares in a poker site starts celebrating, however, it’s worth noting that other parts of the betting and gaming industry are facing a difficult time. Sports betting has all but shut down. And, even if you are to go online, the main choice of betting action seems to be esports or virtual games. A lot of bookmakers suspended markets for long-term events, such is the uncertainty hanging in the air.

Poker and Casino Sites Seeing Increased Activity

Of course, casino sites might see similar surges in activity to dedicated poker sites. It’s been noted that casino resorts have shut down across the globe, but there should also be some recognition that arcades, bookmakers’ shops and pubs also hosted casino games. Moreover, players will be flocking to games like the Desert Treasure video slot to alleviate boredom rather than looking for a direct replacement for another type of game they found in the outside world.

For poker players who have been online for a long time, it’s an opportunity (as mentioned, we aren’t trying to trivialise the pandemic) to rake in some cash. In March, reports started coming in of some of the biggest prize pools in online poker history for cash tournaments. Moreover, if you want to be cynical about it, the increased traffic on sites in North America and Europe means that there will be plenty of fish for experienced players.

Social Side of Poker Games Important Factor

But there is another way to view all this; namely, the social aspect of it. During the lockdown, many of us are missing the connections that we normally have in our lives. While traditional poker sites are seeing increased traffic, we have also seen a surge in popularity of social poker apps, i.e. those that don’t offer cash games. The Poker Face App is one such example, where the emphasis seems to be on connecting people around a table. If anything, the poker games are secondary to the social experience.

What, then, might happen after society returns to normal? Well, one problem is that we do not know when that will happen, nor if it will happen. That might sound like scaremongering, but there are likely to be so many changes to our work and social lives in the future. Many of us, for example, might end up continuing to work from home long after it has been deemed safe to return back to the office.

But you might imagine that many players will opt to stay with poker sites long after their lives have returned to being (almost normal). This should be seen as a positive for lovers of the game, and it’s great news for a side of the industry that has had a few knocks down the years. Bigger prizes, more players, more fish – it’s a small victory in a difficult time. But we shouldn’t forget the social side of things; keeping people connected through the game in a time of physical disconnection. That’s a big win for everyone