The online gambling industry is living its best moment so far. Since 2020, the number, size, and revenue of gambling platforms have only increased. Online casinos are the ones benefiting the most. More online casinos join this market every month, fighting for a slice of this multi-billion dollar pie. However, of all casino games, this one, in particular, was perfectly positioned in 2020, when the steep rise of online gambling has started.
Right Place, Right Time
The case of poker is a singular one amid casino games, chiefly because it has never needed a casino to happen. Organised clubs and rooms have always existed, and the same goes for its online version. Although it’s hard to find an online casino without poker, it’s pretty easy to find exclusive platforms for the game.
It means that when more people started looking for online entertainment, this game already had a solid fan base. In 2020, the number of players on poker platforms increased by 50%. The number of tournaments on TV and the internet also corroborates its recent popularity leap.
Consequently, blogs dedicated to tips, tricks and rules of poker now abound on the internet, as well as video classes, PDFs, and books. Such an infusion of new blood in the field was bound to attract the attention of software developers. After all, there are competitions with multi-million dollar prizes.
Over the years, London has become a hub of tech startups and game developers: there are over 500 of them across the city. The entire industry generates a £4.85 billion revenue in the country. Here are some of the biggest developers in the market based in Big Smoke.
Playtech is one of the biggest and most traditional software providers in the online casino world. It has already created more than 600 casino games, including several versions of the game. These include titles like 3-Card Brag Poker, Heads Up Hold’em, Pai Gow Poker, and more.
IGT stands for International Game Technology, and it’s another major player in the online casino market. The company is based in London, but it holds offices in many other countries. Yet, IGT isn’t a Londoner company by birth, as it was acquired by the British GTech, in 2014, when both companies were rebranded IGT. The company provides top-notch poker software to countless platforms and has a long video poker catalogue.
Yet another tech giant that has chosen London as a second home, Evolution Gaming is arguably the global leader in live dealer games. Poker is a sizable portion of its portfolio, either on live or instant games. Evolution Gaming was the first developer to launch a poker tournament with a progressive jackpot beginning at USD 50,000.
The UK is the second country in Europe with the most poker players. British players can’t complain about the lack of tournaments either. There’ll be four major tournaments until March, including two PokerStars London Series. All those competitions get quite comprehensive media coverage, including live streaming, interviews, odds, and more.
Such coverage contributes greatly to the further expansion of the game. Now, new potential players can watch professional competitions on TV, YouTube, Twitch, and many other platforms. Still, those who prefer playing in brick-and-mortar venues are also very well covered. Here are some of the favourite venues for poker players in London.
The Empire Casino
The classy atmosphere at Empire Casino has become a tradition for many poker players in the Big Smoke. The poker rooms are free to enter, but buy-in starts at £48 for tournaments and £50 for cash games.
The Grosvenor Victoria
The Grosvenor Victoria has opened a venue dedicated to the game. The Poker Room offers 35 tables, plus slots machines, and a world-class restaurant. This venue is also home to one of the biggest poker tournaments on the continent: the GUKPT.
The Aspers Casino
Aspers Casino is one of the largest casinos in Europe. Its poker room is sponsored by 888poker, with around 30 tables dedicated to the game. This poker room used to work around the clock, but now it’s until 5 am.
London concentrates all the ingredients to become a reference for poker worldwide. The city nests hundreds of software developers, has top-level venues and has a huge fan base. Some of the best developers for live games are also based in the city, creating a thriving scene for the iGambling market. Not by chance; some of the biggest tournaments worldwide happen there.