Despite the closing of many in-person venues over the past few years, gambling remains big business in the US. The pandemic and the rise of technology like 5G have made games like online poker more popular than it has been since the Poker Boom of the early 00s. It is easier now than ever to get into the game and the industry is prospering because of it.
A big driver of the current rise in gambling revenue is the increase in states that allow sports betting, but more states are legalizing online poker as well. Poker is, after all, deeply entrenched in our popular culture. It has featured in iconic movies and occupies a special place in the history of gaming as the first card game most people learn. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that online poker is back on the rise since it was effectively outlawed more than a decade ago.
The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, which recently took place in November 2021, often draws more people to the online game. And it isn’t just amateurs who have found a home in online poker. High-profile poker professionals like Phil Ivey, one of the greatest poker players of all time, have helped raise online poker’s appeal. Ivey has won millions in the online game over the years, nearly matching the $20 million he has won at in-person tournaments in the same amount of time.
With so much momentum going forward, the online poker industry is keen to try to capitalize on it to innovate for the future. What big changes have come into online poker since the initial boom almost two decades ago? Here are a few ways the industry changed recently.
When the previous poker boom happened, smartphones weren’t a thing yet. Mobile gaming simply didn’t exist, so online poker is coming back to a more connected world. More places have 5G coverage than ever before, with faster speeds and more powerful mobile phones. This means that there is a growing demand for players to stay connected when they are on the go, driving the need for apps in addition to a functional website. Many sites are even building their mobile apps first and worrying about their websites almost as an after-thought. This connectivity will only continue as the internet becomes a bigger and bigger part of our lives.
More Games on Offer
It used to be that there were different sites for every casino game you wanted to play. Roulette, blackjack, and poker were all spread across the web. However, the concept of an online casino has become a reality for many companies in the last few years. It makes plenty of sense, after all, to have more games under one roof, drawing in more customers and players in the process. Players can flit between games without ever logging out of their favorite site.
More Robust Security
The downside of online gaming has always been security issues. With that much data, especially credit card information, flying around the internet, it can be an attractive target for hackers. Most sites have implemented enhanced security protocols on their servers to protect players, including separate wallets for deposits and winnings. This separation helps keep players’ details secure; if one wallet gets compromised, the hackers won’t be able to access all of the funds the players have on the site. These measures are necessary in an increasingly treacherous online world but should help make sure that players feel safe spending their money on online poker.
Are you curious why anyone would choose an online poker site over a visit to the real thing? Check our out comparison between the online game and getting the VIP treatment at your favorite casino.