Players are using poker software to gamble at a quicker pace and with less hassle than ever before, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.
In a study released on Tuesday, the university looked at more than 4,000 online poker players across a variety of poker sites.
The researchers, who conducted their research while working at University College London, found that, for the most part, players were using software to play online, rather than in person, which makes the experience of online poker more convenient and easier to manage.
The research also found that more than 50 per cent of online players were actively using online poker, compared to about 30 per cent who were in person.
“Online poker is a huge and growing part of our online gambling community and we believe this is one of the main reasons we are seeing so many players start playing in person,” said Dr David Renton, a senior lecturer in business administration at the university and lead author of the study.
“It’s not that players are using a lot of online software, but they are using it more often.”
For example, in 2012, there were more than 14 million registered online poker accounts, and around 1.2 million people were actively playing.
The study found that the average monthly payout for online poker was $40, while the average online player made $50,000 in a year.
Renton said that the findings indicate that the popularity of online gambling is due in part to a lack of regulation and regulations in online poker.
The average online poker account holder only has to have $1.5 million to make the top 1 per cent in the world, while players with $20 million in their account make more than $2 million in total, he said.
The US state of Delaware, for example, has banned online poker for players over the age of 18.
Online poker sites have been plagued by accusations of online gaming scams.
Last month, US regulators shut down PokerStars after a group of investors allegedly bought $30m of the game’s shares for less than $US2.
The game was later forced to close in early October.
The authors of the report said they hope that their research will help others to understand why poker players are switching to online gambling, as the industry is booming and there is a demand for online gaming.
“There’s a lot more interest in online gambling in the US and other countries,” Renton said.
“The fact that the UK is one jurisdiction where people are starting to use it is a good indication that the demand is there and it’s a growing sector.”