As three of the richest countries in the world (by average household wealth) Canada, the UK, and the US command a lot of disposable income. Today we assess the online poker trends in each of the three countries due to the growth of poker online in recent years.


Some of the top poker players like Daniel Negreanu, Jonathan Duhamel, and Timothy Adams were all born in Canada. So that means the country is poker mad, right? Maybe not poker mad but in 2023 online poker has very few logistic pitfalls in Canada. While it used to vary by provincial government, now if you live in Canada, you can click here to play poker online to your heart’s content. Citizens of Ontario do have some special status as the local authorities monitor and regulate all gambling businesses a bit more closely than others but generally seem supportive of the industry being introduced to the area.

The Canadian online poker market was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic as participation grew by around 43% during the national lockdown periods. The national gambling industry is projected to grow to a staggering $133.9 billion by 2028 as more and more Canadians seem to be enjoying a wager with their disposable income.

PokerStars, GGPoker, and 888 Poker are among the market leaders in Canada. Unlike their neighbors to the south, Canada doesn’t have as stringent processes for operators to set up in their provinces, allowing these big brands to trade in the country. The Canadian government has an interesting stance on the advent of offshore sites too. Appreciating that they will pop up regardless, the Canadian government profits by making them obtain a national license to offer their services.

United Kingdom

Unlike their counterparts across the Atlantic Sea, the United Kingdom has a blanket approach to online gambling. The local government permits online gambling as a pastime across all of its counties and areas of the nation, making it a desirable destination for gambling companies that can immediately access a large potential player pool within the entire of adult population.

In 2022, it was reported that the online poker market in the UK was worth £12.5 billion. That’s big business for sure. However, it remains to be somewhat of a minority interest as most UK gamblers prefer lotteries and sports betting. The Gambling Commission annual report doesn’t even document poker as a standalone market! However, this does mean that there’s the potential to convert pre-existing gamblers into online poker players. PokerStars is said to be the most popular site for UK players as it experiences the highest amount of user traffic out of all the sites trading in the country.

Unfortunately, in 2023 with the contemporary ‘cost of living crisis’ in the country, the gambling industry is coming under fire. Some users are turning away from all forms of gambling as to put food on the table instead. Those who are gambling may well be becoming ‘problem gamblers’ a new term categorized by people who can’t afford to gamble but are doing so anyway, and often losing.

United States

Given the sheer size and devolved governmental authorities spread out across the United States, it’s impossible to have a one-size-fits-all approach to gambling (or anything) in the country. Some places love poker and all forms of gambling, like Las Vegas, Nevada a place that is historically intertwined with the bright lights of casinos and gambling debauchers. Then on the other end of the spectrum, Utah has gone as far as to block any overarching federal law changes to gambling in their state. The irony is that Utah shares a border with Nevada. Wendover is a small border town between the two states and even has a casino within a few meters of the border.

Out of all the states, only a handful permit online poker. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, and of course Nevada are the only places where US customers can log on to an American online poker site and play. Everywhere else, it’s illegal. Sure ardent players outside these places can use offshore sites if they like but it’s not an authentic American experience.

There are a few states which are having active discussions about allowing, expanding, or relaxing their gambling laws to allow online poker but progress is never guaranteed and is often difficult to track. North Carolina and South Carolina for example might have been at the bottom of everyone’s list for possible expansion but the North has decided to relax its stance which has prompted its southern counterparts to take action too.

One very notable state is Texas. This is the namesake state for the most popular variation of poker, Texas Hold’em. A group of Texan men from here went to Las Vegas and spread it far and wide, making poker as a whole, the global game it is today. Despite this lineage for the game, contemporary Texans cannot play poker online. There’s very little discussion on it either.