The United Kingdom Gambling Commission’s most recent annual report offers worrying numbers for the online poker community.
Despite the overwhelming surge in overall gambling industry in the UK over the past couple of years with online casino games and sports betting in particular going through a tremendous rise, same cannot be said for online poker.
In a report dealing with employment, participation and revenue during the period that covers the time between April 2016 and march 2017, online poker industry in the United Kingdom has generated approximately $136 million.
To put it in perspective, during the same period of time online casino games niche amassed $2.2 billion whereas the sports betting sector contributed with whopping $2.5 billion.
Online poker contributed to just little over 5% of the casino gaming’s gross gambling yield in a 10.1% percent year-on-year increase and the number do not look promising as far as poker market is concerned.
Online poker is expected to play a less and less significant role in the ever-expanding gambling market and poker operators are facing a struggle to keep up the pace behind other forms of online gambling.
Over the past couple of years operators have introduced a wide variety of different playing options in order to keep the audience engaged. As a skill-based game poker is now becoming a fun-seeking activity aimed to appeal more and more to recreational players.
Poker operators will need to step up their game and to innovate in order to stay relevant and that’s the biggest challenge. One idea is to introduce online poker events and tournaments with larger jackpots and games that have a higher chance factor as opposed to skill-based factor that is predominant in poker.
Apart from the downtrend in numbers reported by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, PokerStars as the authority figure in the poker landscape also indicates that poker numbers will continue to decline as casino and sports betting numbers continue to grow.
In the end, it will be interesting to see what changes will regulators and operators introduce in order to help poker catch up with its industry’s peers.