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Poker - UK - September 2009

  • In 2008, the online poker market, measured in gross gaming yield, reached £265 million, little changed on 2007. Gross gaming yield in 2009 is anticipated to decline. Each player is spending, on average, almost 20% less per year than in 2007.
  • The typical poker player is a 18-35-year-old male of moderate to high affluence and typically a tabloid newspaper reader.
  • Both online and offline, Texas hold ‘em is today the most popular poker game around the world. It was responsible for something in the region of 60% of poker gross gaming yield in 2008.
  • Reasons for playing poker can be summarised as emotional (thrill), cerebral (strategy) and hearts and mind (a mixed of the previous two). As players age, the strategy driver tends to grow in importance and the thrill driver diminishes.
  • Brand loyalty is weak. Special offers, such as sign-up bonuses can help attract the third of users who use different sites to take advantage of offers.
  • Lapsed poker players give four main reasons: disenchantment with the game, costs of playing, social pressures and time pressures.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Site differentiation by transformation into experiences
              • Mintel Inspire
                • Opportunity
                  • M Poker
                    • Opportunity
                      • Could Poker Boom?
                        • Opportunity
                          • Edutainment or Poker City & Guilds
                            • Mintel Inspire
                              • Opportunities
                              • Market in Brief

                                • Are the good times over?
                                  • Figure 1: The online poker market (gross gaming yield in £m from UK consumers), 2004-09
                                  • Figure 2: Number of poker players and yield per head, 2007-09
                                • Can education limit defections…
                                  • … and help grow the customer base?
                                    • Community games control the table
                                      • You must know your amateur from your Pro
                                        • Figure 3: The key player typologies based on frequency and destination of play, July 2009
                                      • The scramble for market share
                                        • It’s a hearts and mind game
                                        • Internal Market Environment

                                          • Key points
                                            • Poker gets regulated…
                                              • … and bigger poker clubs have to become casinos
                                                  • Figure 4: Rules on poker in casinos, pubs and clubs, 2009
                                                • Poker clubs becoming casinos get more freedom
                                                  • Adiós Las Vegas
                                                    • Problem gambling
                                                      • Figure 5: The prevelance of problem gamblers (as % of those gambling on an activity in the past year), 2007
                                                    • National Problem Gambling Clinic and a lack of funding
                                                      • Taxes on poker profits…
                                                        • But how does this create a level playing field?
                                                          • The US ban
                                                            • Figure 6: The leading poker networks and their acceptance of American players, July 2009
                                                          • Accounts being seized
                                                            • The EU to fight back
                                                            • Broader Market Environment

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Hard times for gambling venues
                                                                  • When income is squeezed are some tempted to gamble more?
                                                                    • Figure 7: Trends in personal disposable income and consumer expenditure, 2004-14
                                                                  • Poker: Luxury or essential?
                                                                    • Figure 8: Trends in selected areas of discretionary expenditure, at current and constant prices, 1989-94
                                                                    • Figure 9: Spending intentions in leisure, April 2009
                                                                  • The effect of the smoking ban
                                                                    • Socio-economic trends positive for poker…
                                                                      • Figure 10: Forecast growth in the adult population, by socio-economic group (%), 2009-14
                                                                    • … but age trends are countering this
                                                                      • Figure 11: Percentage change in the age structure of the UK population (%), 2009-14
                                                                    • Technological innovation to drive the market forward
                                                                      • Figure 12: The penetration of internet connections (%), Apr 2002-Jan 2009
                                                                    • Can broadband help the age profile?
                                                                      • Figure 13: The change in penetration of internet connections (%), Oct 2008-Jan 2009
                                                                    • Digital TV provides another platform
                                                                      • MPoker on the up but still a niche area
                                                                        • Figure 14: Devices used to gamble online in the past 12 months, April 2009
                                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Poker competes in the entertainment market
                                                                          • Figure 15: Entertainment sales value, by sub-sector (£bn), 2008
                                                                        • A niche activity but one that is getting less niche each year
                                                                          • Figure 16: Participation in selected gambling activities, 2007 and 2008
                                                                        • Poker enjoys a loyal band of regularity players
                                                                          • Figure 17: Trends in games bet on, 2004-08
                                                                        • Online bingo and casinos are a threat
                                                                          • Real poker: Competitor or complement?
                                                                            • Figure 18: Estimated breakdown of poker players in GB, 2008
                                                                            • Figure 19: The breakdown (%) of casino stakes (drop in £m), by online and in casino play, 2004-09
                                                                            • Figure 20: Poker players (ever played), by location of play, 2008
                                                                        • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                            • Strengths
                                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Divided player pools
                                                                                    • Social Pokering
                                                                                      • Poker goes iPoker!
                                                                                        • Community Poker
                                                                                          • Poker training
                                                                                            • Online poker gets its own poker controller
                                                                                              • Online Poker utilizes radio to keep player interest
                                                                                                • Female players get their own site
                                                                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • The market reaches a peak
                                                                                                      • Figure 21: The online poker market (gross gaming yield from UK consumers), 2004-09
                                                                                                      • Figure 22: The remote poker market gross gaming yield, 2004-09
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: The impact of the recession on the frequency and location of poker play (% playing less or for smaller stakes because of the recession), July 2009
                                                                                                    • The number of players continues to rise but per capita spend falls
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Poker key performance indicators, 2007-09
                                                                                                  • Segment Performance

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Texas Hold'em the dominant game
                                                                                                        • Figure 25: The estimated breakdown of online poker gross gaming yield (£m and %), 2008
                                                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • PokersStars the global leader
                                                                                                          • Figure 26: The leading online poker sites worldwide, week ending 31 July 2009
                                                                                                        • Ladbrokes the UK leader
                                                                                                          • Figure 27: The poker sites currently used by online poker players in GB, July 2009
                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Estimated share of gross gaming yield from GB poker players, 2008
                                                                                                          • Figure 29: The percentage on online poker players who have tried a site but do not currently use it, July 2009
                                                                                                        • Getting customers to try and stay is the key to success
                                                                                                          • Figure 30: The relationship between trying a site and using it currently for the top ten sites, July 2009
                                                                                                      • Companies and Products

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Networked or standalone?
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: The major poker network providers, July 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 32: The largest poker sites in the UK and their network links, July 2009
                                                                                                          • Betfairpoker.com
                                                                                                            • Full Tilt Poker
                                                                                                              • Microgaming Software Systems Ltd
                                                                                                                • Figure 33: The Poker istes in the microgaming poker network, July 2009
                                                                                                              • Ladbrokes Poker
                                                                                                                • Pacific Poker/888 Holdings Plc
                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: 888 Holdings Poker key performance indicators, Q1 2008-Q1 2009
                                                                                                                  • Paddy Power Poker
                                                                                                                    • Party Poker
                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Party Poker KPIs poker and gammon, 2008-09
                                                                                                                    • PKR Poker
                                                                                                                      • Playtech
                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: The members of the iPoker Network, July 2009
                                                                                                                        • PokerStars
                                                                                                                          • Sky Poker
                                                                                                                            • VC Poker UK
                                                                                                                              • William Hill Poker
                                                                                                                                • Poker information sites
                                                                                                                                • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • UIGEA impacts on UK adspend
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Topline adspend, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                    • PokerStars and Full Tilt lead the Way in 2008
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Adspend, by company (top 20, others summarised), 2006-08
                                                                                                                                    • With Full Tilt going old school…
                                                                                                                                      • But PokerStars getting a slap on the wrists
                                                                                                                                        • PKR
                                                                                                                                          • PKR takes to the skies
                                                                                                                                            • TV takes over from the press
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Adspend, by media type, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                            • PokerStars and Full Tilt change the advertising landscape
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Adspend, by company and media type (top 20), 2008
                                                                                                                                              • TV ads strongly appeal to the pros
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: The power of TV to attract new poker players, July 2009
                                                                                                                                              • The importance of online affiliate marketing
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Examples of affiliate programme commission rates, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Promotions
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Examples of sign-on bonuses to new players, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                • The Poker Player

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • The popularity of poker drops
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Poker playing, by frequency, 2007 and 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Today’s poker player: young, male, loaded and…
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: The proportion (%) of adults playing poker in the past 12 months, by gender, age and income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • … tech savvy but not necessarily highbrow
                                                                                                                                                      • The online player gets instant gratification
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Frequency of playing poker, by where it’s played, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • The player typologies: Are you a player or a gentleman?
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: The key player typologies based on frequency and destination of play, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • Older less affluent take the game more seriously, while…
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: The seriousness of poker players, by gender, age, income and internet usage, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • The net attracts older females to the game…
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: The tendency of poker players to play online+ and live*, by gender, age, income and internet usage, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • …but live play is preferred by younger men
                                                                                                                                                        • How and Why Adults Play

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Poker appeals to the head and the heart
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Why poker players play the game, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Poker players fall into four distinct types depending on the core motivation for play
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: The four poker player motivational groups, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Players go online for specific reasons but…
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Motivation for playing poker, by player typologies, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Play live for mixed reasons
                                                                                                                                                              • Hearts and mind motivated are more cautious with their cash…
                                                                                                                                                                • … which explains why the recession has dented their willingness to play
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: The tendecy to play for real money and the impact of the recession on play, by motivation for playing poker, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: The by motivation for playing poker, by gender, age, income and internet access, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • How Can Player Loyalty Be Encouraged?

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Are poker players brand-loyal? Well, sort of…
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Factors help driving choice of websites, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Brands, games and site features hit the Pro market, but miss the Amateurs
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Factors helping drive choice of websites, by player typologies, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Feature and functional richness the key to site stickiness
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Factors that help drive choice of websites, by Pros, Semi-Pros and Amateurs July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Pros twist, while Amateurs stick
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: The number of poker websites used (19 in total), by player typologies, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Winning Back Lapsed Players

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Young affluent males the most likely to fall out of the market
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: The percentage of adults who have played poker in the past have not done so for the last 12 months, by gender, age, newspaper readership and household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Boredom and lack of time – two killers of poker playing
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Why adults who have played poker in the past have not done so for the last 12 months, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Summary factors leading adults who have played poker in the past to abandon the game, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • More education and innovation needed
                                                                                                                                                                      • Build communities of interest
                                                                                                                                                                        • Use promotions and incentives to build loyalty
                                                                                                                                                                          • Faster play or set time slots
                                                                                                                                                                          • Expanding the Poker Market

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Good news: Potential players look like current players
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Adults who have never played poker but find it appealing, by gender, age, newspaper readership and household income, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Online vs. Live targets
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Segmentation of targets for the Poker industry, by preferred venue, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Lack of education holding the market back
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Why adults who find poker appealing do not play the game, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Also remember TV and social networking can drive new players
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Factors getting online poker players started with the game, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2004-14
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2004-14
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: UK household sizes, 2004-14
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: British internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by gender, socio-economic group, age and working status, 2002-09
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Usage of the main online poker sites, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Adspend by company and brand (top 20, others summarised), 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Monthly adspend, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix –The Poker Player

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Frequency of poker playing, by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Consumer typologies, by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – How and Why Adults Play

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: The profile of poker players, by motivation, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Winning Back Lapsed Players

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Summary factors leading adults who have played poker in the past to abandon the game, by demographic sub-group, July 2009

                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                            • Advertising Standards Authority
                                                                                                                                                                            • Apple Computer UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • Betfair
                                                                                                                                                                            • Blue Square Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                            • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Cashcade Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • Chartwell
                                                                                                                                                                            • Dennis Publishing Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Gambling Commission
                                                                                                                                                                            • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                            • HomeChoice
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ladbrokes Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • London Clubs International
                                                                                                                                                                            • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Paddy Power Plc
                                                                                                                                                                            • Playtech
                                                                                                                                                                            • Sky Vegas
                                                                                                                                                                            • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                            • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                                                            • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                            • William Hill

                                                                                                                                                                            Poker - UK - September 2009

                                                                                                                                                                            £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)