Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Poker Popularity on the Wane

Last week at HuffPo, poker was discussed in depth, and it seems that the popularity of the game is falling:

"In Sin City, epicenter of the poker craze, at least eight rooms have folded in the past two years. The trend is also playing out in Mississippi riverboats, Indian casinos and gambling halls near big cities from California to Florida."

If you remember, online poker was cracked down upon federally a few years ago, and online poker rooms have been shut down. A simple response to that (one might think) is that players would flock to live rooms to get their fix, but it hasn't happened. 

"Poker revenue has been falling in Nevada since 2007, the year after the federal government first cracked down on virtual gambling and forced online companies to close or relocate offshore. It's a story that's become increasingly common as the crackdown on Internet gambling weakens poker's appeal, and the casinos that once competed to lure fans of Texas Hold `Em abandon the waning game in favor of more lucrative alternatives.

"No longer could fresh crops of poker players develop their games online."

This is probably similar to what happened in horse racing. Back in mid-2000, the industry was behind snuffing out the online horse racing bet takers. It occurred and many trumpeted this as a vital point in bringing players back into the pools.
It never happened.

Online horse racing - pirates or not - attacked racing's problems at their core: They offered low takeout and convenience. When low takeout and convenience were taken away, these same players did not sign up for three ADW accounts to play all tracks at 22% rake.

Time and time again we'll read something from an industry meeting saying online horse racing bet takers are pirates, they don't give back to the game, if they were snuffed out people would flock to the track again. That, if poker and racing's history is any indication, is likely very wrong.

It's 2013, and in 2013 players want convenience and competition. Racing has not delivered it well, and it is still a problem that needs to be fixed.


Cangamble said...

The racing industry was hoping for flocks of disgruntled shut out online poker players to start playing the ponies but that didn't happen.

Problem is that poker is perceived to be beatable long term by at least a few good players, but horse racing is not. Much of this has to do with the effects high takeout has long term.

I believe there is huge market of gamblers who can be easily swayed towards horse racing if and when the game becomes perceived as beatable long term by at least a few very good players.

I also have to wonder if the short term and long term affects of the Texas ADW shutdown will have the same sort of outcome poker is experiencing right now.

Sal Carcia said...

I am not sure what you mean by "snuffing out online bet takers." If anything horseracing is encouraging bettors to use their online accounts even on track with wi-fi offerings. I can only assume you are talking about rebate shops. In that case, I was not aware that these shops were being shut out of the parimutuel pools with the exception of Oaklawn Park. I think some more information is needed here.