Any doubts that poker isn’t reaching new demographics due to coronavirus-related lockdowns have been put to rest by finance company Brilliant Solutions.
On a daily basis, the British company acts as an aggregator and negotiator of mortgage products for brokers. However, with business on hold due to coronavirus lockdowns, it’s turned to poker.
In an effort to engage mortgage lenders, brokers, and intermediaries, Brilliant Solutions is hosting a charity tournament for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Poker Provides Support for NHS Once Again
The event will be free to enter and anyone “remotely associated” with the mortgage industry can join. Finally, to raise money for the NHS, participants are being asked to donate at least £20/$24, or whatever they can afford.
The tournament is another chance for players to do something for charity during the coronavirus crisis. Since March, many of the leading online poker operators have used the current surge in activity to give something back.
In the UK specifically, the Jockey Club, Partypoker, and Grosvenor have all pledged money and resources to the NHS. These efforts have been mirrored by similar relief efforts in India, the US, and elsewhere.
In broader terms, the efforts are another example of poker being used for the greater good. More significantly, they’re an example of how the game’s profile has increased during the lockdown period.
Almost every major operator has reported a spike in activity over the last eight weeks. Within the last week alone, the Stars Group announced a 27% year-on-year upswing.
Similarly, Grosvenor Poker’s parent company, the Rank Group, recently reported a 21% uptick in digital activity. Based on the stats, global lockdowns have increased business for operators. However, it’s the wider ramifications of people seeking online entertainment that may be most beneficial.
Fundraisers Mean More than Money for Poker
Although charity tournaments are nothing new, the timing of Brilliant Solutions’ event is significant. News of online gaming’s growth has permeated the mainstream, and that’s served as inspiration for the event.
Under normal circumstances, poker and the mortgage industry may have never connected. But, comments by Michael Craig, sales director at Brilliant Solutions, suggest the current dynamics may be changing attitudes toward poker.
While the general public may not understand the nuances of the game, there’s an indication people are starting to appreciate it’s not all about gambling.
“Removing the association with gambling was crucial for us, and it took a while to find an appropriate setup to do this, but I am pleased to say we have managed it,” Craig told the Financial Reporter.
Outside of any debate about gambling, the charity tournament shows poker is reaching new demographics. This could result in growth for the industry as a whole when the coronavirus pandemic subsides.