The online poker market remains competitive, especially with the US-facing offshore online poker networks dominating the leaderboard.
With reports of the .com market trailing behind for two years and counting, it is worth looking into the factors that push these unregulated, offshore poker sites to the top. A closer look, however, reveals that Bitcoin could very well be the key.
Bitcoin acceptance defies US government crackdown
Despite the Black Friday incident in 2011, online poker betting continues to be on a roll for the gambling enthusiasts in the US, and this is largely in part of the leading offshore online poker networks that still cater to the said market.
Finding the legal gray area proved to be beneficial for the two parties since operators enjoy a significant market share composed of the US players and the bettors enjoying the capability to play poker online.
Winning Poker Network, one of the networks that are blasting their way into the online poker market, is a perfect example for the success of the offshore sites in the US.
Its primary partner, Americas Cardroom, continues its ascent in terms of popularity and player traffic. Other than the fact that this site is open to US poker players, it also began to accept Bitcoin deposits this year, further expanding its market coverage.
By fully adopting Bitcoin payments, Americas Cardroom assured itself of more players, even more so with its distinct offerings like the $1 million guaranteed tournament scheduled regularly. The availability of other tournaments and satellites send a message that online poker aficionados can also find the excitement and rewards they look for beyond the regulated online poker sites.
Also making its presence felt on the market is the Chico Poker Network. This network welcomed the Bitcoin trend and beefed up its offerings and incentives, resulting in favorable numbers. Returning to this network, BetOnline now processes Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, proving its worth in the race to become one of the sought-after unregulated poker sites today.
Bitcoin poker market awaits a market breakout
Now that online poker rooms are starting to embrace Bitcoin as one if the accepted payment methods, it is only a matter of time when the cryptocurrency-powered poker sites will earn a larger spot in the industry.
There are several poker room Bitcoin sites that excel in this trade, and there are even new ones that promise revolutionary offerings to intensify the poker betting experience.
For instance, Betcoin Poker remains to be a top pick among players who prefer to wager Bitcoin or Litecoin bets on tournaments hosted by the Winning Poker Network.
Moreover, with the demise of Seals with Clubs—then largest Bitcoin poker room—more hopefuls continue to populate the market. Unfortunately, its replacement SwCPoker.e—an offshore Bitcoin poker room—showed signs of struggle in living up to the footsteps set by the Seals.
Lower average player traffic, paired with the legal battle of Bryan Micon, could be the reasons SwCPoker’s future shines rather dimmer than what was expected in the beginning. Regardless, better things can be anticipated with the cumulative strength of the Bitcoin poker market.
Meanwhile, Micon, who is charged with class B felony due to the illegal operation of an online gambling site in Nevada, experiences troubles in raising funds to pay for legal fees after raising only $3,945 and his GoFundMe campaign likely to be suspended.