Can 2009 be as bad as 2008 for the general poker industry?
Sunday 30th November 2008
The last few months have seen a large divergence in performance between the online and off-line poker industries which have never been so far apart. As the off-line sector continues to struggle with increased costs, lower attendance figures and reduced income the online sector is booming with more and more players signing up even in these challenging economic times. So will 2009 be as good as 2008?
It looks as though 2009 is set to get tougher for both areas of the poker industry as no matter how popular it has been, the online industry will show signs of slowing at some point. However, it looks as though the off-line sector is in for more of the same and there are serious concerns about the long-term future of a number of well-known companies. We have seen more and more companies miss interest payments on their large debts, new overseas developments mothballed and banking covenants come under serious pressure. Where will it all end?
There is potentially one more concern for the off-line sector in the fact that US authorities are looking at possibly legalising online poker and online casinos within a more controlled regulatory environment. This will place yet more pressure on the traditional US casino sector which has been part of American society for ever and a day.