A joint study by Academicon and Poker Scout reveals that should the state of California regulate online poker then the market could be worth up to $384 Million per year within 10 years. The study also states that year one of operations could lead to a figure of up to $263 Million in revenues. Data was analyzed on around 4.6 million real money online players from around the peak times of unregulated online poker in the US, 2009 & 2010 and it was found that 178,300 players in the state of California averaged $867 per year in revenue for online poker operators which in turn created a 16% share of all US online poker, 4% of worldwide online poker and a $155 Million market.
Professor Kahlil Philander, one of the authors of the study stated that, "Under regulation, online poker is expected to grow well beyond its previous peak," however he was also very quick to add the obvious regarding the fact that liquidity back then in US rooms was indeed huge, however he put it slightly differently saying, "The size of the market depends strongly on the decision to either limit the player pool to in-state residents or participate in a federal or international network of players." With all due respect this is the issue regulated US poker will have, and continue to have, therefore any estimated figures such as these, in my humble opinion, can be taken with a dash of salt. There are way too many factors to take into the equation as to what California could generate and it must be remembered that the amount of cash on tables back then was immense, and that liquidity was given a huge boost by the amount of high stakes games being played and of course the huge guaranteed tournaments being offered almost on the daily by the many offshore rooms.
There is also the fact that there is still a whole lot of players in California who have not stopped playing online poker at the many online poker rooms that serve them, in fact that number grows every day at sites like Bovada Poker, and many of these players are quite happy where they are, so would they up sticks and move to a California regulated site? That has yet to be seen, and quite possibly never will be seen.