To celebrate pokerfuse’s tenth birthday, and Poker Industry PRO’s eighth, we are opening up the PRO paywall for one day only. Every article and every feature of our platform is available to the public, for the first time ever, for the next 24 hours.
If you are new here, then welcome. You might find everything a little overwhelming—indeed, you have just 24 hours to explore our platform, and that means reading from over 5500 articles, plus:
- Diving into the cash game traffic.
- Exploring the Data platform.
- Checking out Tracker.
- Browsing the Directory.
- Delving into Explore.
To help get you started, we have hand-picked some of our favorite content from the last few months. Below you will find exclusive interviews, in-depth analysis, market predictions and exclusive stories.
It gives you just a flavor of the kind of content PRO publishes every day, with our signature style of independent, thorough analysis on the ever-changing online poker industry.
PokerStars on Branded Content & Design: An Interview with Associate Director Francine Watson (November 2020)
Top line: “2020: The year of the coronavirus; its impact felt globally. Businesses have had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape created by the pandemic; the poker industry is no different.”
- With all attention turned online, the industry invested heavily into events to make them prestigious for players.
- The stakes are even higher with EPT Online, the first ever online edition of its storied European Poker Tour.
- “We started as a small poker-only production team making our EPT highlights shows and live streams.”
- “Whatever we’re producing, our main goal is to entertain and strengthen our connection with viewers, fans and customers.”
- “Producing the best poker programming and live streams for fans is where our collective heart lies.”
Flutter Points to Increased Competition, Marketing Spend for Dip in PokerStars’ Q3 Results (November 2020)
Top line: “Global gaming giant Flutter Entertainment plc, the new owners of The Stars Group, blamed increased competition from the World Series of Poker on GGPoker, plus increased marketing spend, for low online poker results in their quarterly financial results.”
- Flutter released a third quarter trading update boasting of impressive performance across large parts of its business.
- A weak spot in the portfolio was PokerStars, which encompasses sports and casino but is approximately two-thirds poker.
- “In PokerStars, the normalization of the revenue trends that we detailed at our interim results has broadly continued.”
- PokerStars traffic during Q3 was up 13% on the same quarter of 2019.
- “We have substantially increased our level of investment in the international business through targeted generosity.”
- “Events that drive quite a lot of activity around poker are driven by global competitions which different operators get behind.”
Top line: “Online poker and igaming provider 888 Holdings posted impressive financial results last month for the first half of 2020.”
- Online poker and igaming provider 888 Holdings posted impressive financial results last month for the first half of 2020.
- “Our strategy at 888poker was always to provide our players with a unique entertainment experience coupled with engaging promotions.”
- With the new 888poker app, we took that player-centric philosophy and integrated it throughout the platform.”
- “888poker is on a strong growth trajectory and we have a very specific road map to make sure the business stays on track.”
Top line: “Twitch is still the go-to platform for online poker operators looking to market to new audiences. From high-spectacle challenges, to daily streaming schedules, to huge cards-up coverage of online events, most operators continue to pour resources into the platform.”
- “Twitch works more as a retention or branding tool; it isn’t great for acquisition”
- “Given that Twitch clearly meets the ‘particular appeal to children’ test and the ‘freely accessible’ test, it’s a real problem”
- “A mid or high stakes player might not realize it, but the freerolls feed the entire poker ecosystem.”
- “We’ve had the thrill of live poker denied to us in 2020, but we’re hopeful that 2021 can see some normality come back to poker.”
Top line: “888 Holdings and Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) have entered into a multi-year extension of their existing partnership in the US market, the pair revealed Tuesday. The agreement cements 888’s position as a leading online poker provider in the US.”
- The agreement cements 888’s position as a leading online poker provider in the US.
- Under the extended partnership, 888 will deploy its new Poker 8 desktop and mobile client for the WSOP.
- The All-American Poker Network (AAPN) combines cash game and tournament traffic of Delaware with Nevada and New Jersey.
- Prime candidates for 888’s expansion in the US are the states of Pennsylvania and Michigan.
- It may be that the operator is waiting for progress on the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) first before committing.
GGPoker in 2021: Five Developments to Look Out For This Year (February 2021)
Top line: “In 2020, GGPoker grabbed headlines throughout the year.”
- Live poker returning or not, it is almost certain that online bracelet events will return to GGPoker.
- It is expected to recruit female ambassadors in 2021 as a way to extend its reach.
- It will continue to introduce innovative game formats and features this year.
- Operator is expected to enter the sportsbook market in 2021.
Top line: “Global gaming giant Flutter plans to “reassert PokerStars’ leadership in poker” and regain market share from the competition after reporting a modest 17% growth in revenue in 2020 in its online poker division.”
- Net gaming revenue in PokerStars’ online poker product grew 38% in H1 2020.
- In H2, promotional generosity as a percentage of gross revenue increased to 28%, double the rate of 2019.
- “We know that when we invest in marketing and player generosity, customers respond over time.”
Top line: “We may be two months into 2021, but it is not too late to speculate on what advancements can be expected for the remaining year.”
- WSOP organizers are still expecting something live will take place—though in a later slot than its usual timeframe.
- Multiple online poker rooms are expected to go live in Pennsylvania and at least one more online poker room in Michigan.
- This ruling once again paves way for interstate online poker expansion in the US.
- The landscape for US online poker is looking brighter than ever before.
Entain Says Partypoker Revenue Grew 50% Last Year (March 2021)
Top line: “Entain, formerly GVC, parent company of partypoker, stated last week in its 2020 full year presentation to investors that net gaming revenue in online poker grew 47% last year, or 50% in constant currency.”
- The introduction of the German Tolerance Policy “slightly curtailed” this growth in Q4, the company said in its full year report.
- Statements regarding a recreational customer focus notwithstanding, the strong growth will be primarily because of coronavirus.
- Poker’s growth continues to outstrip practically all other segments in the Entain portfolio.
- Poker’s share may have grown to 5% of this division, given its outsized performance last year.
Top line: “Online poker at PokerStars, part of Flutter plc, had a fairly solid 2020. The poker part of the business enjoyed growth of 17% year-over-year.”
- The brand is in a much stronger position today than a year ago.
- PokerStars loves an anniversary, so a 20th birthday celebration is assured.
- The company will use it as an opportunity to promote PokerStars as an established, well-regarded, stylish lifestyle brand.
- Part of this rebranding strategy is that there will be tighter integration between casino and poker.
Top line: “Partypoker continues with its commitment made back in 2018 to clear the online poker room of bot accounts and to return fraudulent money to affected players.”
- Partypoker continues with its commitment made back in 2018 to clear the online poker room of bot accounts.
- Since the start of 2021, partypoker has seized just $9,000 in fraudulent funds and closed a further 64 accounts.
- This concerted effort from the operator shows it is chipping away at problem accounts, with less being found each month.
PokerStars Parent Company Flutter Buys Majority Stake in India’s Skill-Based Junglee Games (March 2021)
Top line: “Global gaming giant Flutter, parent company of PokerStars, in its recent call earnings, revealed that it has acquired a majority stake in India’s skill-based company Junglee Games.”
- Flutter, parent company of PokerStars, in its recent earnings call, revealed that it has acquired a majority stake in Junglee Games.
- The acquisition was completed in January this year, with the global gaming giant buying a 50.1% stake.
- The deal also gives Flutter the option of acquiring the remaining stake to buy the remainder of the company in 2025.
- With this acquisition, Flutter further expands its presence in the burgeoning market of India.
Top line: “Online poker revenue at 888 Holdings jumped 47.8% in 2020, the operator revealed in its full year financial report last year. It is one of the best annual growth rates in poker reported in its 15-year financial history.”
- It is one of the best annual growth rates in poker reported in its 15-year financial history.
- “We saw a temporary jump during April and May, which was stabilized in June before seeing structural improvement in the second half.”
- While poker made up just 7.7% of the group’s B2C revenue last year, it received outsized attention in last week’s investors’ call.
- Six months ago, it deployed the new mobile client upgrade, a huge step up for the operator.
- “This showcases the fresh and modern approach that we brought to the world of online poker.”
Online Poker in 2021: Where the Industry is Today, One Year After the Coronavirus Outbreak (April 2021)
Top line: “The online gaming industry had a very strong 2020, and online poker was one of its top performers. After years of difficult market conditions leading to stagnant growth among regulated online poker operators, the coronavirus pandemic forced millions to stay in and search for at-home entertainment…”
- The online gambling industry had a very strong 2020, and online poker was one of the industry’s top performers.
- Poker saw a natural growth surge around April that lasted to early summer, with operators enjoying double the usual seasonal player numbers.
- Cash game numbers have hinted at long-term retention among many of the top online poker rooms.
- Revenue among these four operators is estimated to be just shy of $1 billion in 2019; in 2020, it is estimated to have exceeded $1.2 billion.
Unibet Moves Entire Live 2021 Schedule Online (March 2021)
Top line: “Unibet has once again come out of the gates early, moving all their Unibet Open live events online for a second year running.”
- Unibet has once again come out of the gates early, moving their Unibet Open live events online.
- The early decision gives their players a clear idea of what can be expected from events in the year to come.
- “We were the first to announce the switch to online last year and we’ve taken similar fast, decisive action this year.”