When several countries all over the world began to lift their COVID-19 restrictions, there were many poker analysts who believed that online poker traffic will also start to drop, given that land-based casinos and poker rooms in multiple jurisdictions were getting back to normal. After reaching record levels from March to May 2020, online poker figures stalled a bit but the overall momentum did not fade away.
In fact, online poker sites are still reporting strong traffic, though not on the same level as when home quarantines were still in effect across the globe.
Fresh Increase in Online Traffic
However, the numbers are again showing an upward pattern in certain markets in November. While this is partly due to the seasonal trends, the recent increases also came as a result of a new wave of localized lockdowns in some countries. We can expect these figures to continue to rise, if the lockdowns are extended further, which means, online poker traffic could once again skyrocket, leading to a second boom this 2020, which is now starting to show in Europe.
European Markets Leading The Way
According to online game traffic surveyor GameIntel, the French, Spanish, and Portugal online poker markets have collectively recorded a 30 percent increase in their latest cash game traffic, covering the last two weeks. Italy’s segregated market also reported an 18 percent rise. The last time the European market recorded this level of increase was when the region was gearing up for the first round of lockdown between February and March.
Several European countries have already reopened their businesses and lifted restrictions since June, but new lockdown orders have recently been implemented due to a recent jump in COVID-19 cases in some areas, including in Germany, France, Italy, and the UK. This new wave of lockdowns have resulted in a recent surge online poker traffic, which could give the industry another massive boost this year.
While traffic in the global dot-com market is not on a similar level just yet, figures are also enjoying an upward trend, with the regulated online poker market in the US also performing strongly. So, is a second online poker boom upon us?
Potential Second Boom In 2020
The international cash game traffic is currently recording a seven-day average of 15,601 concurrent seats, based on figures from GameIntel. With the implementation of a new wave of lockdowns, that figure could reach peak levels in the next few weeks.
As we can remember, the lockdown “boom” in cash game traffic originated in the Southern European market back in March. During that time, the numbers grew rapidly, doubling in weeks. The global dot-com market then followed, reaching record levels, something the industry never experienced for years.  In fact, the increases can be considered a “mini boom” in itself, with cash game traffic peaking at 55,000 seats, nearly double the figure recorded in February (30,000). That occurred in early summer, which is usually a not-so-busy period for online poker.
The global dot-com market as a whole is already recording a year on year increase of more than 30 percent. Among the major online poker operators, GGPoker has reported the largest spike at 208 percent, followed by partypoker at 30 percent and PokerStars at 7 percent. Unibet Poker and 888poker have also been doing great, with year-over-year increases of 11 percent and 2 percent respectively.
The US regulated market is also showing the same trend. PokerStars New Jersey enjoyed a year-on-year increase of almost 50 percent, with the other operators, including the WSOP, 888, and partypoker also recording strong numbers. Based on the latest figures, the US online poker market is expected to grow by December 2020, extending to early 2021.
The prospects have become even more exciting as the state of Michigan could open its own regulated market before 2021. Add to that the entrance of more key players (WSOP PA & partypoker PA) in Pennsylvania, and the overall poker market in the US looks stronger than ever.

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