Online Poker News: Industry Updates and Trends, June 2021

online poker news

Quick but informative video digest on poker news. We have covered the main news of the industry’s niche for the end of spring – beginning of summer 2021. Check out the hot vertical news, legislation and compliance news, and market trends.

Watch the video or read the text version below. 

Hot in The Industry

Shortlists for one of the most influential and prestigious awards ceremonies, EGR B2B Awards, were announced.

Six companies made it to the top of the Poker supplier category. They are: BetGames.TV, Connective Games, EvenBet Gaming, Playtech, Relax Gaming, and TVBET. Congratulations to all of our lucky competitors and fingers crossed for the winners’ announcements on the 7th of July. Poker supplier is one of the Headline categories that will be announced during the live part of the event in Regents Park, London.

With mandatory quarantine still effective for the tourists entering the UK, we at EvenBet Gaming are not yet sure if we’ll be able to join the in-person action. 

Market Trends and Launches

A new big player is to star in the Indian mobile poker market.

Octro Inc., a popular Indian multi-game mobile developer and platform, has announced the launch of a 3D online poker application worldwide. The app will allow player personalisation, voice chats, private tables, tournament, and rewards, and will include some less used and chance-dependent game variations like Blind Poker or Slots in the Texas Holdem.

Octro Inc. is now rated as number 1 company in India in terms of in-app player spends. according to App Annie, mobile market data and analytics platform. But is it possible for social online poker app to compete with real money poker games while online poker is legal across almost all the country? 

In Pennsylvania, online poker competition gets a huge push after Borgata and BetMGM enter the market.

Both operators are the skins of the Partypoker US network. While PokerStars PA was the only poker room in the state, the average number of simultaneous players online reached about 350 lately, with a maximum of almost a 1000 during the first days of COVID-19 lockdowns. 

A couple of weeks after the launch, the situation didn’t change much: PokerStars still leads the regional market, keeping at around 340 seats, or 97% share of active players, while both new rooms reached less than 30.

If unable to bite off some traffic from PokerStars, probably Borgata and BetMGM will be able to reach the new audiences? We’ll see!

PokerStars at the same time have announced the changes in their reward program for players.

The operator didn’t change the rewards’ value but tweaked the probabilities to get a high value reward – in favor of players. Whether bonuses and rewards can significantly improve a player’s lifetime value is still a hot discussion in the iGaming market. Most of the bonus kinds aim to acquire new players or make them deposit their money, such rewards as PokerStars’ so-called chests are used to increase users’ activity and retention. 

The changes in the program may indicate the start of the experiments on player LTV improvements, which with massive event series run this spring and summer by almost all the major poker operators may be changing.

Regulation and compliance

In Germany, the discussion around the proposed online gambling tax rates carries on.

The authorities proposed a 5.3% turnover tax on online poker. The European Gaming and Betting Association is worried that it will make up to 49% of players move to the unregulated sector. Moreover, this tax rate is 4-5 times higher than this for the land-based operators which provides a considerable and unfair tax advantage for the brick-and-mortar gaming sector.

The new regulation is to come into force on the 1st of July 2021. The EGBA is ready to file the case to the European Commission if the tax rate will not be changed until then.

Essential reading

EvenBet Gaming team spoke on regulation and poker vertical development in two hot markets: the USA and India.

Company CEO Dmitry Starostenkov has shared his ideas on obstacles and opportunities for online poker in its historical homeland, and CMO Ekaterina Giganova spoke on poker market perspectives, audience preferences, and regulation peculiarities in the country with the world’s second-largest population.

Finally, a story to relax after a hard work day and to give some food for thought.

On BBC.com, Alex O’Brien shares a long and detailed story about her trying to learn to play poker online, winning a 10,000 dollars freeroll, sharing a table with online poker elite and the ways this experience has changed her life and understanding of the game. A story not to miss! 

Stay tuned with us: follow our channel and social media, like and leave comments. We’ll make sure to keep you ahead of the game.