The world is witnessing an unprecedented change due to the outbreak of the CoronaVirus Pandemic. While countries struggle to keep their citizens safe in a slew of lock-down measures that have been put into effect to contain the spread of the virus. This means that people are stuck at home looking for means to keep themselves entertained. As online activities increase more and more people are being drawn towards online gaming including poker. Let’s look at how online poker has been catching up.
As per Google trends, specifically speaking about India we noticed a certain spike in the search for the term “Online Poker” between March 15, 2020 - March 21, 2020, this increased even further between March 22 - March 28, 2020. This is indicative of the fact that, as India went into lockdown people starting engaging more into online gaming including poker. Further, as the outbreak of COVID-19 is compelling the cancellations of live events and shutting down land-based casinos, it’s evident that online poker is witnessing a boom as more and more players join the online communities.
Google Trends - Online Poker
Players who preferred to play live poker games are now being drawn towards online poker rooms for income, entertainment, and keeping their skills sharp until all this is over and they can go back to playing live poker again. Then there are recreational players who play poker for fun and visit casinos occasionally with friends. These people already love poker and are now stuck at home for a long time. It’s not hard to anticipate that these recreational players will turn to poker now to take their minds off everyday problems and online poker seems like the only option they have. Now the frequency of their indulging in online poker has also increased.
People who don’t usually play poker are now being drawn towards the game through online poker rooms. These people want to keep themselves occupied while having fun and therefore are being drawn towards online poker games. Online Poker rooms, on the other hand, are trying to take advantage of this situation. By offering cheaper tournaments and satellites they are trying to attract new players to the game. This is also the reason why many new players are joining the online poker tables too.
The outbreak is changing a lot of things for us in the future and the game of poker will also see certain changes. To begin with, since social distancing will be the new norm format, predictions that many poker championships will be moved to an online setting where the players can compete from the comfort of their homes. Many players may switch from live poker to online poker completely considering the advantages - mainly not requiring to travel to a casino, and instead of having access to online poker 24/7, with fewer distractions playing from the comfort of your own home, etc.
It’s clear that online poker is here to stay even when COVID-19 doesn’t prove to be such a threat. There will be a transition of players from live poker from the pre-pandemic times to online poker now. However live poker games will be organized in the future when things settle down, but for now, more people will be playing poker online.