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  • GameIntel data shared exclusively with Pokerfuse suggests that online poker may be edging closer to its early-pandemic numbers if traffic keeps increasing
  • Europe has already seen an increase of over 15,000 simultaneous cash seats as the biggest poker countries on the continent roll out lockdowns
  • Meanwhile, poker in the United States is also benefiting heavily from the upsurge in interest, with Michigan and Pennsylvania soon tipped to expand their own offerings further

Online poker may be heading for another surge this year, says Pokerfuse, an industry watch websites, which specializes in analyzing data, and providing insight into the poker industry as a whole.

According to Pokerfuse, with a covid-19 lockdown now in force in Europe, online poker may once again turn out to be the beneficiary, so much in fact, that results are already signaling an oncoming upsurge of poker activity.

Based on the website’s analysis of data provided by GameIntel, France, b, Portugal and Italy are already registering significant spikes in the number of online players.

For the first three countries, that spike is 30% and Italy is trailing the pack with 18% uptick in activity. The period that this applies to the past two weeks, Pokerfuse informs. As of November 5, the dot-com cash game traffic is up to 15,601 players, higher than the sub-15,000 players in early August.

A big spike in activity is usually the result of seasonal trends, Pokerfuse informs and is typical for November.

Yet, what is traditionally a good spell for online poker now coincides with a second lockdown in Europe, in response to increasing covid-19 numbers, which could give online poker another brisk jolt.

Covid-19, while detrimental to the land-based segment, and forcing many poker rooms to close indefinitely, and some permanently, has made it possible to bring the poker community closer together online.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) shifted to an online format for the first time in history, although it wasn’t ideal. Global cash game traffic, Pokerfuse said, reached 55,000 seats last time around, meaning March this year, and went up from 30,000 in February.

Poker then fell rapidly through the next several months and finally normalized to pre-pandemic levels in late July. Pokerfuse seems to be confident enough about the future, predicting an imminent spike in activity.

Traffic for Leading Poker Sites Increases Steadily

While the website doesn’t cite any specific dates, the company suggests a steady increase in traffic over the next weeks and months. Even without the anticipated increase in poker activity, the world’s leaders in online poker have posted solid increases in traffic.

According to a breakdown by the website, PokerStars, Partypoker, Unibet, and 888poker have seen significant increase to the tune of 7%, 30%, 2% and 11% respectively. Yet, they weren’t the only beneficiaries, with iPoker clocking 62% increase and GGPoker reaching the whopping 208%, mostly because it hosted the WSOP competition.

Growth has been steadfast in the United States as well, with company data supplied by GameIntel predicting a similar trend in the future.

In 2021, the regulated poker market may experience another upsurge, not least because other states are planning to legalize the activity, and especially because Joe Biden has become the 46th President of the United States.

This aside, 2020 has already been great for poker in the United States, at least online. PokerStars New Jersey has seen traffic go up by 50% and the WSOP network, covering New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, has also seen a nearly double increase, with Partypoker US posting a four-fold increase.

Michigan is close to legalization, or at least closer than before. In the meantime, Pennsylvania may soon welcome WSOP and Partypoker in 2021 creating more competition and whipping up interest in the state.