Because of its strategic depth, skill and chance component, poker is for many themost attractive game with which to spend their leisure hours. Since the declaration of the health emergency during the confinement, the hosting rooms dedicated to hosting virtual poker games have experienced an unprecedented boom, reaching double the number of simultaneous players than in the same period of previous years.
Online poker numbers in the months of health emergency
Although it remains to be seen what consequences the pandemic has really had on the population that has managed to avoid the worst side of SARS-CoV-2, it is certain that the numbers are already being shuffled in terms of the consumption of electronic leisure. During the weeks of home confinement decreed by the Central Government, the use of electronic devices has increased exponentially.
The sectors that have experienced the highest boom have been betting and gambling, digital culture (movies, series and video games), although certain music platforms and other digital content have also seen their flow of users increase during the first half of 2020.
The trend has been regaining normality as de-escalation made its presence felt, but in sectors such as online poker, the increase, although not as pronounced, has been sustained over time. “Some sectors have experienced the typical pandemic boom, and within a few months have returned to normal activity with a similar workload. On the other hand, other sectors such as online poker have experienced a remarkable rise in users even outside the most critical periods of the pandemic, which has led to a whole generation of young players discovering the benefits of online poker,” explains the team at EasyPPPoker, one of the platforms that has increased its flow of constant players the most since the declaration of home confinement.
Online poker sets a new record in the first half of 2020
Because of the measures put in place by the authorities to keep the spread of the coronavirus at bay during the first wave and as a consequence of the declaration of the State of Alarm and the ban on leaving the home except for essential purposes, digital entertainment consumption has increased since then.
In the vast field of online entertainment, online poker has carved out a significant niche for itself, consistently breaking records for online players as the weeks have progressed. Platforms such as EasyPPPoker have set new highs for simultaneous online players, with as many as 50,000 active players in a single day, a figure that is more than double the usual number.
“According to the influx statistics, around 15% of the new players who tried their luck with online poker have not stopped playing since the end of the State of Alarm, which shows how successful poker has been during the months of house confinement,” EasyPPPoker states. “In addition, despite the fact that people, with the gradual recovery of the pre-pandemic pace of life, no longer have the same amount of time to play, the number of constant players has varied little and the numbers are very close to the 2020 highs,” they add.
In addition to home confinement and the increased leisure time experienced during the early stages of the health emergency, one of the key reasons for the increased interest in online poker lies in the accessibility of these games and how easy it is to access these services. “Being actually the same game, the dynamics of online poker are very different from those of face-to-face poker. To play online, all you need is an Internet connection and an electronic device, while to play poker in person you need to go to a casino or an authorized venue that has the corresponding license to have a poker table,” they say.
On the other hand, to play online poker you don’t need to be an expert. “Another advantage of online poker is that it is very accessible and friendly to new players. It is designed for beginners to enjoy the game. Furthermore, at the physical poker tables a certain level is required. It is true that they offer a different experience, more purist and authentic, but it can be more hostile for those who are just starting to discover the charms of poker,” they say.
Responsible gaming, a priority before, during and after the pandemic
Neither the EasyPPPoker team nor that of any other firm focused on poker hosting services is oblivious to the need to instill good gaming habits in order to encourage responsible gaming among the players who frequent these websites. “It is a priority for us to offer leisure services that do not interfere with the rhythm or normal life habits of our users; therefore, we have everything necessary to detect possible cases of reckless gambling that can lead to more serious problems, something that has also been evident during the months of home confinement,” they explain from EasyPPPoker.
In this sense, experts point out that gambling in itself is not harmful: it is only harmful when gambling limits some area of the user’s life, either financially or personally. “Occasional gambling does not turn a person into a problem gambler, but it becomes so if this behavior is repeated and begins to present conflicting attitudes in some area of his life that he used to control completely. That is why at EasyPPPoker we always bet on responsible and safe gambling”, the platform comments.
Globally, an upturn in cases has been detected where specialized advice was required to treat certain problematic patterns in people who are assiduous to sports betting and casino games. “In proportion, the upturn is even logical because at a global level the number of players has increased significantly, and that is precisely why we are increasingly committed to integrating mechanisms that allow us to identify these cases prematurely in order to solve them as soon as possible”, they state.