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The Growth of Online Poker; And Where It Is Strangely Growing

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The article discusses the remarkable growth of online poker worldwide, from its humble beginnings to its present state, and also examines the areas in which it is unexpectedly increasing in popularity.

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Online real money poker is massive. There are more and more players signing up for new gambling operators every day as the excitement and urge to recreationally gamble increases. Today we assess the growth and which markets are surprisingly growing.

If you’re already interested in this subject matter, there’s no doubt you’ll have heard of the poker boom in the early 2000s which made online poker the hottest online trend since chatrooms and online shopping. That set the foundations for the current growth trend. In 2010 it was reported that the online poker market was worth around $3.3 billion. Not a short change at all but the figure pales in comparison to the current value of over $90 billionlink outside website. The past 13 years have been very kind to online poker operators for sure. Given advancing technology, having larger numbers of people connected to the internet, and a global pandemic forcing people to stay home and you’ve got astronomical growth by selling the idea of winning real-world money.


Despite the US having split views on the legality of online poker and gambling in general, the nation still leads the way in terms of the country-by-country population of online poker players. In fact, America accounts for 60% of all online poker players in 2023link outside website.

Yet even with the polarising views on it, America has a rich gambling culture. Even if people don’t regularly bet or gamble, they know about the culture in Las Vegas. It’s prevalent and they’ll probably own a deck of cards. The infrastructure of American society at least understands the appeal of online poker, even if it’s prohibited by several state laws.

There are some places however where the culture doesn’t afford such luxuries, yet poker players find a way to grow the pastime.


For all accounts and logical reasoning, Indonesia should not like online poker as much as it is reported. Gambling is completely outlawed by the local government yet there are enough loopholes for operators to run a reported 4000 sites offering online poker and related games in the country.

One of the key issues is that Indonesia is made up of over 17,500 small islands so governing them all can be difficult, logistically. Making it even harder is that the companies typically operated under another nation’s banner but make their services available within Indonesia.


Brazil is often seen as a party-loving and football-crazy nation. What is less associated with the country is its exceptional love for poker. More recently, soccer fans might have seen that Neymar Jr is working with the Poker Stars brand but he’s just one man. Brazil’s love of poker dates well beyond his football career, with a reported 60% of the population having played poker.

Given the popularity of Neymar Jr and his consistent work with Poker Starslink outside website, that 60% might only grow and swell in the coming years. Especially the amount of his young fans who turn 18 (the legal betting age) in the coming years.


Less than five years ago, gambling was seen as a real taboo in Japan. Limited to the yakuza, dodgy bars with old men betting on the baseball scores, and smoky bingo halls playing pachinko, gambling was not commonplace. Yet now, with the advent of new ideas and a generation less enamored with the traditions and customs of old, gambling advertisements are now seen on major broadcasting stations.

The laws haven’t actually changed. Online gambling isn’t allowed in Japan but the government doesn’t mind offshore operators offering popular real-money poker siteslink outside website as long as a high level of tax is paid. Meaning the change in tide in opinion has allowed for online poker as well as other gambling options to gain steam in Japan.



Regularly seen within the top 10 nations for online poker uptake, Malaysia has a split personality regarding gambling. As predominantly a Muslim faith country, it outlaws it as defined within its belief system. In some cases breaking these laws should in theory be punished via the death penalty.

The government however appreciates that within Malaysia there is some diaspora of expats living in the country who do not practice the religion. Therefore, opens up the restriction on gambling but only to them. However, the reality is that it opens it up to everyone in Malaysia and the numbers of online poker users often exceed the number of foreign nationals in the country.