|Consulting firm MECN released the results of a survey conducted among more than 100 industry experts who offered their unique insights and assessments.|
Martin Oelbermann, co-author of the study, explains “Online poker is the perfect symbiosis of two mega trends in gambling: online gambling and poker.” The triumphant advance in the USA is now leading to a global Internet poker wave with tremendous potential. The amount gambled on poker websites around the world in 2005 is estimated to be more than USD 60 billion.
The increasing number of successful TV shows featuring poker has also contributed to the rapid growth of online poker. Martin Oelbermann continued, “When poker is on the air, it’s the online poker sites that profit instantaneously.” Recent examples of successful poker TV coverage include the World Series of Poker on ESPN, Celebrity Poker on Bravo, and the European Poker Tour on Eurosport.
When it comes to geographical expansion, 52% of the experts believe that Europe offers the greatest future potential for online poker. Market leader PartyPoker, for example, is about to launch its television presence throughout Europe and already operates its site in German as well as English.
But the MECN study also warns that the online poker market will get tougher in the future with decreasing revenues per active player and growing competition. Industry insiders point to the entry into the market by more betting brands such as Ladbrokes, and the consolidation of poker sites, as vital to the future the creation of poker networks.