Online poker continues to grow

7th November, 2007

A new study by market analyst Mintel has shown that nearly a quarter of all internet useres in Britain have used a gaming site to play poker in the last year. Of the 23% that has played in the past year, most played fairly infrequently, with 7% playing deaily, and 14% playing at least once a week.

Half of the 3,822 people questioned had watched the game on television at least once, with a fifth of those claiming that the TV coverage was what led them to take up the game. The amount on poker shown on TV has risen nearly 40-fold in six years, from 13 hours in 2001 to over a huge 530 hours last year.

The report showed that 35% of all players do not even play for money, just to get a slice of the action. Mintel's senior leisure analyst Matt King said that this was down to poker now being seen as one of the most "cool" forms of gambling. He went on to say: "For the industry, it is clearly not ideal that so many players do not play for real money. But it does highlight that people do still feel intimidated by the game and that potential gamers are reluctant to dive straight in without having a chance to figure out the basics first. But once they have got a grasp on the game, they are then more likely to put their money where their mouth is."

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