Is online gambling a good alternative to physically driving to a casino and placing bets? Or is it a detriment to the gambling industry?
This question was the main concern of many parties back in the day. The pressure to launch the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act came from many different sources, including owners of traditional conventional casinos, financial institutions and observer groups who worry about everything from underage gambling to erosion of the canon of values in America.
Gaming industry leaders were concerned that with the proliferation of poker, people would rather sit in the comfort of their own home than go to the casinos. And if history can serve as an example: it offers a good model for what can happen at DFS.
According to the Las Vegas Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, whose casino records are among the best in the United States, it is unclear whether the gaming industry really had to be concerned about poker. When Texas Hold’em exploded between 2002 and 2006 thanks to ESPN broadcasts from the World Series of Poker and the availability of online poker, Las Vegas also saw a small boom. After the online ban, they felt an almost explosive surge.
Las Vegas was going through a poker crisis when the resurgence began. In 1994 there were 93 poker rooms in Las Vegas with 586 tables. That number dropped to 68 rooms with 473 tables by 2000, and when there were only 57 rooms with 386 tables left in 2002, this year has been the worst for poker since statistics were kept.
During the rebirth of poker between 2002 and 2006, the numbers rose again, reaching 96 rooms and 781 tables in 2005, the last year of online availability. In 2006 Las Vegas saw a further increase to 106 rooms and 886 tables. After the online opportunities ended, poker in Las Vegas took an unprecedented development. Between 2007 and 2010 there were an average of 112 rooms with 915 tables in Las Vegas. A game that brought local casinos a total of $ 57 million in 2002 generated sales of $ 167 million in 2007.
What is the lesson to be learned? Outside of conventional casinos, a new target group of poker players had emerged. After the online options no longer existed, a significant player segment switched to the casinos.
“As online gaming increased, conventional poker sales increased significantly,” said Dr. David G. Schwartz, director of the UNLV Center for Gaming Research.