For much of early the 2000’s, the focus of online poker rooms was about how they could attract the most Americans possible to play at their room. After all, it seemed that a good number of US residents were poker fanatics who were ready and willing to spend money on the game as frequently as possible. But when the UIGEA act was signed into effect in 2006, many of these rooms were at a loss for what to do.
Fortunately for the poker industry, many Americans have come back to the game but the focus isn’t on them as much anymore. That’s because online poker is rising rapidly in many European countries – especially among the younger people. A survey run by JupiterResearch discovered that the number of poker players between the ages of 18-24 has gone up by a ridiculous amount.
For example, Germany saw its total poker playing population in the 18-24 year-old demographic go from 17% to 41% in just one year! Sweden saw a somewhat big increase too since its number of 18-24 year-old players went from 18% to 25%. Poland and Hungary didn’t see its younger poker playing population increase that much but it’s tough to do when you’ve already got over 60% of your players being in the 18-24 year-old range.
Females are increasingly responsible for this poker surge in Europe too since places like Spain and Italy have seen huge hikes in female players. In fact, Spain sees almost a 50/50 split since 44% of its poker player population consists of women and this is up from 16% in 2007. Italy only had an 18% female online poker playing population but this number has bolted up to 34%. Norway, Finland, and Sweden also have a big female poker player base too.
With how much many of the demographics and numbers have changed in just one year, it’s tough to imagine where the limits for poker are in Europe. Hopefully the game keeps growing throughout the continent as more and more people take up poker.
It is true, that poker is growing in germany, but all players are located in a gray area. Online Poker is not legal in most of the europe countries. Therefore the poker-boom could be stopped quickly if the politicians decide to chase the online-poker players. The case in Kentucky is a nice example what politicians can do.
I really hope that the Kentucky thing will be an isolated deal since the Governor used the promotion of Kentucky’s in-state gambling as part of his election platform. However, it’s definitely likely that more states could be following Kentucky’s footsteps in this matter.