Now that the online poker industry is up and running in the state of Nevada we are starting to see exactly what kind of impact licensed online poker rooms will have on the US market –and if you are an unlicensed offshore provider the future doesn’t look very promising.
The US online poker market currently consists of Bovada, all of the other unlicensed rooms, and then Ultimate Poker, WSOP.com and Seals with Clubs.
The sites that have taken the biggest hit in recent months are those on the Merge Gaming Network and the Revolution Network. Both networks (which were thriving just after Black Friday) have seen traffic plummet, and can now only boast average traffic of 370 players.
But not all of their traffic has gone to Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com. Bodog has seen a traffic increase, as have the Winning Poker Network and the Chico Poker Network, both of which are now in striking distance of Merge and Revolution –something that I would have considered an impossibility even a few months ago.
MAY TRAFFIC NUMBERS
CURRENT TRAFFIC NUMBERS
|Bovada||7-Day Average 1,100 players||7-Day Average 1,320 players|
|Revolution Gaming Network||7-Day Average 680 players||7-Day Average 370 players|
|Merge Gaming Network||7-Day Average 670 players||7-Day Average 370 players|
|Winning Poker Network||7-Day Average 245 players||7-Day Average 305 players|
|Chico Poker Network||7-Day Average 210 players||7-Day Average 300 players|
|Ultimate Poker||7-Day Average 75 players||7-Day Average 155 players|
|Seals With Clubs||7-Day Average 84 players||7-Day Average 64 players|
|WSOP.com||N/A||7-Day Average 55 players|
*Traffic numbers from www.pokerscout.com. Pokerscout.com uses a 7-day rolling average of cash-game players to determine traffic numbers.
If the current trend continues it’s quite likely that one or more unlicensed poker rooms may have to close their doors. Revolution has plummeted from an average of over 1,000 cash-game players just last year to their current level, while Merge has seen a similar fall but for different reasons: Revolution has been plagued by lengthy withdrawal times while Merge has seen several high-profile skins leave the network for unspoken reasons.
Bovada could end up being the proverbial thorn in the side of the licensed US poker rooms in the early going, as the site is the only unlicensed US-friendly online poker room with traffic numbers that are currently unattainable for the current crop of licensed rooms to compete with – and we all know that taffic is one of the biggest factor when players join an online poker site.
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