Online poker is a type of gambling that allows players to participate in games via the Internet. It offers players a wide range of benefits, including the ability to play at any time of day or night, from the comfort of their own homes. In addition, online poker sites allow players from around the world to compete against each other. This makes it a popular form of gambling, with many countries and individuals having legalized and regulated online poker sites.
In the US, regulated online poker was brought back to life in 2013, when New Jersey passed legislation and licensed operators. However, the federal government’s interpretation of the Wire Act effectively cut off US players from international player pools. This situation changed when Michigan joined the multi-state online poker agreement (MSIGA) with NV and DE, which allows operators to combine their player pools across state lines.
Despite these changes, it is important to examine the behavior of poker players and their characteristics in order to understand how these factors affect their gambling habits. To this end, we aim to provide a comprehensive and contemporary examination of online poker players’ behavior through the use of data obtained from an established operator’s database.
Our analytic sample was drawn from a pool of 2489 entrants who had been playing at an online poker site for at least two years. Our sample contained both rake-based and non-rake-based sites, and included all of the major networks. In addition, we surveyed our sample on a variety of demographic and behavioral measures, including problem gambling.
This study’s results indicate that online poker players continue to devote significant amounts of their leisure time to this activity. Moreover, their spending on the game continues to increase. We find that the most involved online poker players spend almost a quarter of their gambling budgets on the game. This group is also more likely to make large wagers and to play higher stakes than other players in the sample.
Another noteworthy finding is that, in contrast to previous studies, the group of most involved players does not appear to be older than the general online poker population. This may be due to the fact that players are able to play the game for longer periods of time, or because a growing account balance is a source of pride and identity among successful online poker players.
Lastly, the most involved online poker players continue to be male, and a substantial percentage of them are college-educated. These results are in line with other research that demonstrates that college-educated people tend to be more interested in poker than people who are not. In addition, a majority of the most involved online poker players are employed full-time. This may be partly because working adults are more likely to have sufficient disposable income to gamble, but also because this population is less socially isolated than the average American. These findings suggest that online poker is a culturally acceptable and socially valued activity for a substantial number of people.