There is a wide consensus that the pandemic has provided a boost for online poker as well as various other online gambling platforms.
To be sure, the pandemic related closures and restrictions happening around the world in the spring of 2020 and beyond have generated their share of clear winners and losers. Disrupting the global economy in a major way, the pandemic fueled a skyrocketing of stocks connected to videoconferencing and online services companies, while tanking the stocks of physical-travel-related businesses such as cruise lines and commercial airline businesses.
With that said, obviously, with so many people sitting at home, online gaming of all kinds became a much more common pastime. Home poker games moved online, as people who hadn’t played online poker in years — or ever! — dusted off their mousepads and took to the online felt in order to scratch their poker itch.
Direct and Indirect Impacts
Even such authorities as the U.S. National Institutes of Health have looked into the coronavirus and how it impacted online gaming and other areas of fintech, as in this abstract from one such study in India:
“The novel coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has brought the entire world to a relative standstill, affecting millions worldwide … With the absence of an effective vaccine, public health measures have been implemented by governments worldwide, such as quarantine, closing workplaces (including schools and businesses), and spatial distancing,” write report authors.
On the online poker front, operators across the board reported major growth in both cash game and tournament traffic, with prize pools regularly breaking records. Media sites, such as this one, covering online poker and the online gaming industry in general also benefitted from sustained higher traffic figures over the past year.
Synergy in Technology
All of this explains a lot of the increase in online gaming. However, other advances in online gaming connected to the pandemic have to do with how digital ecosystems interact, and how advances in one tech sector can affect another.
For instance, different types of online banking connected to cryptocurrency assets have been developing at a rapid clip. That type of advance can generate other progress in systems like Bitcoin casinos. These casinos can integrate the advances in digital banking into their platforms, to offer players more as they use the services.
Then there’s a practice of staking, where you can grow your money with new decentralized lending options. All of this comes together in a maelstrom of activity quickly changing the face of our financial world.
Online Poker Rooms and Casinos Innovate
At the same time there’s been a lot of innovation in particular platforms, for example, at FortuneJack, where a decentralized system connects with provably fair gaming algorithms. This helps players to know that the results of the games are generated fairly, and that no one’s putting their thumb on the scale. The fairness and security outcomes related to this platform lend themselves to further development of crypto casino operations.
As the world emerges from the initial pandemic adjustments that have been so immediate and high-pressure, what we’re seeing is a world where many of the nascent technology trends that were sped up for the virus are now baked into our social, business and economic models. Online gaming is one of those. Look for new features and new ways of wagering with digital assets, new ways of visualizing finances and making assets portable. Asset tokenization has gained a foothold, and tomorrow’s banking is going to look radically different from what we were used to in the 20th Century.
And finally, on the poker front, while there’s tremendous pent up demand from people to return to the live poker felt, and that’s already beginning to happen in earnest, from what we’re seeing online poker is showing no signs of slowing down as the industry operators continue trying to retain the increased player pools they’ve grown recently accustomed to having.