Poker’s Impact on the National Economy and Wider World of Finance!
This month Dan O’Callaghan was asked to take a look into the world of poker finance. We’ll discuss poker’s impact on the national and broader gambling economies.
While no expert, he decided to accept the challenge, so here’s Dan’s take.
It’s All About the Rake
Rake is a crucial cog in the poker economy. So, looking at how it works is a sensible place to start. You might be unfamiliar with the concept if you’re new to poker or have only played in rake-free private games.
But rake is a fee that a poker operator takes from each pot in exchange for hosting the game.
In cash games, the winner of a hand pays the rake before receiving the contents of the pot.
In tournaments, rake is a set fee that players pay when registering (usually 5-10% of the entry fee).
A hatred of rake is one of the few things that unites all poker players. But as great as the idea of rake-free games sounds, rake is a necessary evil. It’s what keeps the poker industry going.
Rake is the primary source of income for most online poker operators. So, there wouldn’t be much incentive to continue running without it. That’s if they could even afford to at all.
Less lucrative income streams, such as transaction fees and casino side game profits, offer some financial incentives. But the rake is so substantial. So, it’s hard to believe these income sources would be enticing enough to cover the eye-watering costs of operating an online poker site.