EvenBet CEO: Coronavirus causing “second wave” of online poker growth

By Owain Flanders

Online poker is experiencing a “second wave” of popularity in Europe as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic, according to EvenBet Gaming CEO Dmitry Starostenkov.

As part of a panel during the SBC Digital Summit, Starostenkov was asked how online poker had changed since the coronavirus crisis spread across the globe.

According to Starostenkov, the vertical had dropped in popularity in developed markets in Europe and had been growing in emerging markets in the last few years, experiencing an evolution in developing markets in Europe and Asia.

However, as a result of the pandemic, Starostenkov said online poker is once again growing in popularity in developed markets within Europe.

He said: “Now the pandemic has sped up the growth of online poker. Poker is acting as a lifesaver for sports betting operators now along with casino and virtual sports.

“We are observing high demand from players looking to sports betting operators for online poker. Those operators who weren’t keen on online poker are now including it into their portfolio.”

Despite this positive shift, Starostenkov is uncertain of its longevity.

He said: “I think there is an influx of newbies to the poker world which plays positively towards the vertical's development. But I’m not sure how sustainable this trend is because it’s hard to predict anything at the moment.”

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