Not a Good Reflection
February 16, 2009 (InfoPowa News) — Trust is a critical element in online gambling, and therefore poker site operators may be concerned by the results of a new study by a British research company that shows that as many as 50 percent of respondents mistrust online poker websites.
The Great British Poker Survey was carried out by the independent research company 72Point and commissioned by London-listed mobile technology provider Probability plc as part of its preparations to launch a new head-to-head mobile poker product. 72Point surveyed a wide-ranging sample of more than 2,500 poker players on the project.
12.5 percent answered in the affirmative to the statement: “I trust them, they provide a good service” regarding online poker sites. 36.9 percent gave a qualified answer in agreeing to the statement: “mostly trust them”, with one or two doubts. Disturbingly, almost 20 percent (19.4 percent) said they mistrusted poker sites and had “a lot of doubts” about them, and a further 31 percent of respondents said they did not trust online poker sites “at all”.
Reasons given by those with a negative opinion ranged from not trusting the randomness of the cards dealt online (33 percent), to 32.3 percent who said they were worried about the safety of their funds and bank details. A fifth of respondents, 21.3 percent, said they were concerned about regulation and 13 percent said they were concerned about the use of “software bots” online.
Customer service ratings for online poker site operators were of average quality, according to 51.8 percent of respondents, and there was a widespread belief that online poker operators at most sites used "house players" despite denials to the contrary.
But when it came to choosing between online and land poker rooms, a remarkable 36.7 percent of respondents still rated Internet poker sites as preferred poker venues, lagging behind only the runaway favorite venue of poker in the home environment, which appealed most to 57.7 percent of the players surveyed. Only 5.5 percent chose land casinos or poker clubs, with 36 percent claiming that the intimidating atmosphere at such venues discouraged them.
Probability plc's CEO Charles Cohen commented: “We don’t have any axe to grind on this issue. In fact, the reverse is true — a healthy poker industry is good for us because the more people who are comfortable with playing remote poker the more business there is for us to shoot for.
“Some 50 percent of players surveyed by the Great British Poker Survey said they did not trust the online poker sites. A third said they did not trust them at all. Those figures are striking and came as a surprise even to us. There is clearly an issue here that the industry needs to address.”