Is The Online Poker Gold Rush Over?

Is The Online Poker Gold Rush Over?According to an article by the Financial Mail today, experts are divided about the future prospects of the online poker industry going into 2013.
Apparently, all the major UK gambling companies met up last week, a list which includes such businesses as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Bwin.party and Betfair, and the resounding opinion coming from the naysayers was that poker was a fad which is now over. As one source was quoted as saying:
“There are basically a few big companies and then everything else is just a very long tail. All the companies that have poker but aren’t one of the big ones are going to have to consolidate or be scooped up by the big players.”
This, of course, is mainly a reference to PokerStars which has a huge 60% of the market share and boasts over 50million registered players. PokerStars also acquired its biggest competitor recently, Full Tilt Poker, and so overall its control over the market has increased to between 70 and 90%. All in all, this situation doesn’t bode well for other companies which have sought to bolster their online poker offerings, such as 888.com, Ladbrokes and William Hill, and  Betfair, which derives just 6% of its revenues from poker.
The article then goes on to explain that while the industry waits for the possibility of future legalization in the USA breathing new life into the industry, progress has been incredibly slow.
“How many times have we heard that next year the US market is going to open up. It’s been a long time coming and we’re still not there yet,” another unnamed source was quoted as saying.
The article then ends by concluding that poker may not be the future beneficiary of any online gambling legalization as online slots, which can also be played via smartphones, continue to grow exponentially in popularity.

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