The latest statistics coming out of India show that online poker activity has increased by 12% due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
Like other parts of the world, India moved into a state of lockdown on March 24. With stores closed, transport networks shut down, and people told to stay indoors for 21 days, online poker has become a source of entertainment for many.
In a Monday press release, India-based online poker site Adda52 provided an insight into its recent stats, noting an overall increase in traffic, spending, and that new sign-ups have increased.
Online Poker Buzzing in India
The number of players joining Adda52 has jumped up by 10% since March 24, according to the latest figures, while the average amount users are spending each day has increased by 18%. Average revenue per user is up 25%.
The spike in traffic mirrors what other online poker operators have been reporting. In the UK, Grosvenor Poker’s new series of GUKPT online events have exceeded expectations. Internationally, PokerStars recently set new records with its 14th-Anniversary Sunday Million.
The increase in daily activity also cements Adda52’s position as India’s largest poker site. However, while there are positives for online poker in India — and poker in general — everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
India is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. Although it has an emerging economy, an estimated 68% of its 1.3 billion population lives in poverty. A recent BBC report detailed the problems many Indians now face due to coronavirus.
According to reporters on the ground, villagers are having to walk miles in searing heat due to the transport network shutdowns. Add to this, 1,071 reported cases of coronavirus and 29 deaths (at the time of writing), and the problems are mounting.
Industry Contributing to Coronavirus Relief Efforts
In light of its current position, Adda52 has created its own coronavirus fundraiser. From March 27 to April 1, the online poker site is running a special tournament known as Falcon.
The money collected from each tournament will be donated to India’s Covid-19 Helpcare, which is part of the PM Relief Fund.
“It is a time in the country when we as a responsible organization must make whatever efforts possible to help those affected by this pandemic,” said Adda52 CEO Naveen Goyal.
The online poker industry finds itself in a unique position during the coronavirus outbreak. As one of the only viable forms of entertainment, activity is on the rise. As the collective has done many times in the past, operators are now finding ways to help.
Adda52 is one of the first sites to step up, but it likely won’t be the last. With no end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight, the poker industry has a chance to make a difference now more than ever.