Online Poker Revolution
the fastest growing online gambling sector, and soon, even mums and
dads will have an opportunity to share in the spoils of this
gambling juggernaut if one of the industry’s giants goes public
later this year in an IPO that is sure to make waves.
poker, by all indications has been the online gambling revolution of
the last couple of years. According
to PokerPulse.com, a staggering $190 million is now bet daily at
online poker rooms. This compares to only $11 million daily just two years ago.
In the same period, active player numbers have grown from
83,000 to 1.9 million!
poker allows players to play against other real life players, with
the casino taking a percentage of the pot, called the ‘rake’.
Poker’s success has been attributed in part to the popularity of
televised poker tournaments like the World Poker Tour and World
Series Poker that have brought the game into the living rooms and
consciousness of millions worldwide. And the poker loving antics of celebrity
card-shark-wannabes like Ben Affleck and Michael Jordan have done
nothing to sully the games reputation as a cool game to play.
fact that software powering the popular poker rooms is now able to
offer a pretty realistic poker experience has probably also not
the reason, online poker appears here to stay, with at least 250
websites, powered by about 55 separate operators currently competing
for your poker dollar custom.
to whether poker’s amazing growth will continue is debatable.
There are already indications that it is beginning to
approach it equilibrium point, with growth in new monthly players
running at 10% compared with 20% in 2003 (albeit from a much lower
base). And this trend should continue according to Dale Johnson from
NeTeller (which makes over 80% of its revenue processing payments
from online gambling operators) who has stated that current growth
rates cannot be sustained.
commentators also point to the uncertain US position, where the
legality of gambling online has been questioned, despite the fact
that an estimated 60% to 80% of the market is comprised of US
Industry’s undisputed heavyweight, IGlobal Media, owners of
PartyGaming and PartyPoker, is considering cashing on the poker
bonanza with plans to list on the London Stock Exchange later this
Media claims a 50% share of the current online poker market,
translating to a profit before tax of around $350 million in 2004
and an expected IPO valuation of almost $4 billion.
more details on where to play poker online, check out our poker
rooms page, or the following cool poker rooms: