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    The Worldwide Reach of Online Poker

    In the era of online poker, individuals from different parts of the planet come to the virtual tables to test themselves. While the game originated in the US and is still a big favorite there, the rapid expansion of mobile technology has been another factor in expanding its global audience even more as you’ll find so many of the best poker sites and apps listed everywhere you look.

    Certain countries and demographics have come to the fore as unexpected hotbeds of online poker, and hence played the role of proving that not only the traditional notions are wrong, but also they are the ones that love to play poker.

    In Asia, for example, gambling and poker have been stigmatized in the last two decades. However, in a lot of countries, like China and India, millions of people play the game of poker. The game began to gain a lot of momentum in the 2000s as more and more people had access to the internet. The region of Asia has a young and growing population base, and Asia is full of great business opportunities. PokerStars, the world’s leading online poker site, rolled out a Mandarin product to broaden its potential in the Chinese market. They also back many of the top Chinese and Indian pro players, which adds to the game’s exposure in such countries.

    The Middle East is another region that is not historically associated with card playing and gambling. But what is happening is that the adolescent population together with tech-savvy and youthful people in places like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt have been the major adopters of social media and online poker. Even though the religious and the legal barriers are still there, you can still find the best poker sites listed online there and that’s why it has gained in popularity because it offers a greater degree of anonymity and privacy.

    Latin America is another market that has a lot of momentum with which one can hardly keep up. In the last ten years, poker has experienced phenomenal growth in South America and Central America. In 2018, the PokerStars Championships Latin America edition brought 1,153 contestants. Mexican, Argentine, Chilean and Peruvian poker players seem to be the most active. Poker’s popularity can be correlated with the significant growth of internet and smartphone usage in this region. The game is entertaining because of its socially oriented play-style and the skill component that has such a broad appeal.

    Europe is unsurprisingly another big online poker hub. Countries like UK, France, Spain enacted full legalization and regulation that provoked significant expansion of their player base. On the other hand, the tendency to further develop poker playing in East Europe is also present. Besides Ukraine and Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Estonia are other Eastern European countries with a poker community, which grew because of tech advances in mobile gaming which gives access to basically every adult.

    Another interesting and important factor is that online poker has gained an immense following among younger adult groups. The game is becoming less and less male-dominated, and females are now among the faction that is experiencing the fastest growth in the gaming community. In 2017 about one third of online poker players were female. Online poker sites are being actively targeted to women, as evident in the special events and forums made for women. Poker fans from younger demographics, for example, Millennials and Gen Z, have equally joined the online poker revolution. More than a quarter of the online poker players in the United States are less than 40 years old.

    Furthermore, the older generations are getting the grasp of poker through online gaming. Others enjoy the game’s mind stimulation as well as the friendships it provides. This is where the online poker rooms come in handy with the new versions like Omaha Hi/Lo which is slower paced. Even older people love the games and the opportunity to talk in chat with the other folks their age from worldwide. Indeed, it can often be difficult to go to a casino, but playing at home is easy with an online connection. Poker can help to get through the loneliness of everyday life.

    In other words, the USA and Western Europe have become the spine of online poker in the world, however the game has spread out far and wide. The growth of the internet in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe provides the basis for new market segments to emerge and widens the scope for online business as incomes grow. Online poker is not unique only to a specific age or sex group but rather to a wide variety of people including women, young adults and seniors who have also joined the group in record numbers. The game is based on skill and challenges, which create a need to attract everybody. Poker’s online community’s growing popularity implies its diverse user-base will continue to grow in the years to come.

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