Online Poker in the European Union
Gaming Law Review and Economics, Vol .16, pp. 21-26
Posted: 6 Jul 2011 Last revised: 1 Mar 2012
Date Written: July 5, 2011
Although online poker is a gold mine of data, until now nobody knows where the players and their money come from. It seems that the knowledge about the online poker market has not been able to keep up with the speed of its evolution in the past years. This paper is the first to shed light on this matter. We use data of 4,591,298 poker identities from the Online Poker Database of the University of Hamburg (OPD-UHH) collected over a six months period from 09/2009 to 03/2010. Since the EU-27 countries are of particular interest in this paper, we identified 2,905,925 active poker players for these countries who paid 1.62 billion US$ rake to the operators in 2010 (on average 558 US$ per player). We found Germany to be the biggest poker market of the EU-27 countries with a market size of 392 million US$ and with 581 thousand players. Even though Germany is the biggest market in absolute terms, Finland is the biggest relative market with 15.40$ spending per head. The main driver of the relative market size in a EU-27 country is the internet activity. Denmark is the country with the highest proportion (1.641%, 1 out of 61) of online poker player in regard to its population. In relation to the number of internet users Hungary has the highest proportion (1.983%, 1 out of 50) of online poker players.
Keywords: online, poker, market, gambling, data, EU-27
JEL Classification: L83, L11, H31, L89
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