The Growth of Online Poker: Trends and Future Predictions

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Over the past 20 years, online poker has transitioned from a niche activity to a billion-dollar industry entertaining millions of players globally. Propelled by advances in technology, evolving regulation, and changing consumer behaviors (especially during COVID-19 lockdowns), experts predict online poker at Playfina is poised for continued expansion.

Key Statistics on the Growth of Online Poker

To appreciate the meteoric rise of online poker, consider that in 2001 the industry generated just $82 million in total revenue. By 2021, that figure skyrocketed to over $7 billion. Below are some other key statistics highlighting the industry’s growth:

  • Number of online poker sites increased from fewer than 10 in 2000 to more than 1,000 today
  • Online poker traffic rose steadily pre-pandemic, then spiked 47% from 2019 to 2020 when COVID-19 struck
  • 63% growth in female online poker players from 2015 to 2021
  • Average age of online poker players dropped from mid-30s to low 30s from 2015 to 2022

Driving Forces Behind Online Poker’s Rise

What key forces have fueled online poker’s monumental growth? A few major drivers include:

Improved Technology

Faster internet speeds, better software, and enhanced security measures drastically elevated the user experience from the early 2000s poker sites plagued by crashes and hackers compared to the sophisticated platforms found today.

Mobile Adaptation

When online poker transitioned to mobile it unlocked convenience and flexibility. Today over 75% of online poker traffic comes from mobile devices. Players can now enjoy their favorite card games on-the-go.

Continued Legalization

As more countries and states pass legislation permitting regulated online wowpot jackpot, the player pool expands. In the US alone, seven more states have legalized online poker in some form since 2018.

Pandemic Lockdowns

Quarantines and cancelled live events during COVID-19 led many poker enthusiasts to try online options. Traffic spiked drastically during 2020 lockdowns. This introduced countless new players to online poker who have largely remained active.

Projection for Future Growth Trajectory

With these driving forces still largely in play, most industry experts anticipate the online poker market still has plenty of room for additional impressive growth in the years ahead.

Below are conservative future projections for key online poker metrics by 2025:

Metric2025 Projection
Annual revenue>$9 billion
Number of poker sites>1,500
Number of players115 million

Notice by 2025, revenue is predicted to top $9 billion fueled partially by 15 million more online poker players compared to today.

Factors That Could Disrupt Growth Projections

While the future appears bright, there are a few key issues that could halt the momentum:

Tighter Regulations

If a wave of new laws banned or severely limited online poker activities, it could stunt growth regionally.

Economic Downturn

During recessions disposable income decreases. Online poker revenue dropped 13% year-over-year following the 2008 financial crisis.

Security Issues

A major data breach or poker site hacking scandal could violate player trust and lead to an exodus away from online platforms if not handled properly.


Some believe the internet poker market is reaching a saturation point, though current data shows there’s still significant untapped potential in emerging markets.

Game Variety and Innovation

To sustain growth, poker operators will need to keep attracting new players and serving existing ones by launching fresh poker variants and incorporating cutting-edge features like blockchain, VR, and live casinos.

Key Takeaways

In two decades online poker has grown from fledgling origins into a multi-billion dollar global phenomenon following several boom periods catalyzed by enabling technologies and favorable regulations.

Industry revenue and player projections predict the ascent of internet poker shows little sign of slowing thanks to mobile adoption and lingering pandemic impacts. However regulatory, economic, and innovative factors represent outside forces that could disrupt future growth if the dominoes fall unfavorably.

But for now, forecast models suggest we’re still just witnessing the dawn of online poker’s potential as millions more players get dealt into the action each year.