The online gambling sector has seen a sharp increase in player numbers in the past few weeks. With live casinos shutting down left and right and people across the globe choosing or being forced to spend more time at home, online casinos are getting significantly more traffic.
Pennsylvania is one of the US states that have identified a clear surge in online casino activity. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 12 brick and mortar casinos in the state have been closed down and the measure will stay in effect at least until April 6, 2020. In the meantime, eight online operators continue to offer their services.
Sports Bettors Flocking to Casino Games
According to the reports from BetRivers.com and PlaySugarHouse.com, two of the eight mentioned PA online casinos, many punters are transitioning from sports betting to the casino. With the number of betting options severely limited due to many major leagues and competitions being canceled, players are looking for new avenues to have fun and try their luck.
It seems that video slots are particularly popular on these two sites as casinos have seen an increase in the number of big wins. On March 21, a lucky PA player banked a $278,000 progressive jackpot on Divine Fortune, spinning away at $1 a spin.
NetEnt’s Divine Fortune is the most popular progressive jackpot slot in Pennsylvania. In less than a year, it awarded 13 lucky players with big jackpot wins and casino officials believe this number will grow quickly because of the increased number of players.
Table Games Popular as Well
It’s not just video slots that are keeping players in Pennsylvania busy. At FanDuel online casino, there’s been a sharp increase in activity across their table games options. Just like other operators, FanDuel is experiencing a decline in the betting section, with players flocking to other options available on the site.
Although FanDuel has a rather limited selection of casino options, with just 12 video slots and several variations of blackjack and roulette, players don’t seem to mind. The activity, especially on the table games, has risen. Simultaneously, the site is looking for ways to add new games and improve their casino offering to better cater to players’ needs.
PokerStars PA Booming
At the moment, PoekrStars is the only online poker site operating in Pennsylvania and the recent developments have led to a significant increase in traffic on PokerStars as well. In the past week, the number of active players has more than doubled, with the absolute peak happening on March when there were more than 3,600 active players at one point.
It seems PokerStars are determined to use this spike in numbers. The operator has announced the start of Spring Championship of Online Poker, which should see first events roll out on April 4. The series should feature $2,000,000 in guaranteed prizes, making it the biggest online poker series to take place in the regulated US market to date.
What to Expect Moving Forward?
According to all the information available at the moment, the situation around the world isn’t likely to change soon. People are being advised to keep their distance and large live gatherings likely won’t be back for a couple of months at least. This definitely includes poker tournaments where hundreds or even thousands of people are gathered in a relatively small space.
With live events cancelled left and right, online poker in the US could see a big bump. While numbers thus far haven’t been that impressive, it seems like the States are headed for a mini online poker boom of sorts.
In Pennsylvania specifically, PokerStars will likely use its vast resources to attract more players to virtual tables. The announced Spring Championship is just one such instance but the operator probably has many more ideas up their sleeve.
As for the rest of the iGaming industry in PA and across the States, they’ll likely continue to experience increased traffic on slots and table games. However, with the betting segment being crippled, their bottom line will likely be affected.
So, in the end, it seems that online poker will experience the biggest positive trend in terms of player numbers. Whether that trend will be temporary or it will continue once things are back to normal is anyone’s guess.