Could online Mahjong take off like online Poker did?
Before poker really exploded thanks to ESPN and an online phenomenon named Chris Moneymaker winning the World Series of Poker, you wouldn’t find so many sites around the web dedicated to the game as you would today, and certainly not many online casinos hosting a separate poker room. That’s not to say they weren’t plentiful as a whole – just not as plentiful.
The same can be said with mahjong. This Chinese game of skill, calculation, strategy and chance makes the perfect gambling game. In Asia, mahjong is absolutely huge. Much of Europe has helped keep the game’s vigor alive, and the America’s are also aboard the train. But outside of Asia, it turns from craze to hobby.
However, with the many tournaments happening around the world, it might not be long at all until mahjong has equal seating alongside top internet casino games like blackjack and slot machines.
Some mahjong faithful may find that hard to believe. After all, there are already a slew of mahjong-specific websites as well as a few gaming sites that offer mahjong as an option. But it hasn’t exploded yet; it hasn’t become an internet sensation.
The time may be at hand, though. Mahjong lovers should rejoice in the game attracting more and more people. Whether you’re playing for pride, love or money, any mahjong faithful should appreciate an influx of new guppies flocking to the game. Easy targets are always in high demand for gamblers, and nothing says easy target like a thousand new sign-ups to an online gaming site.
In the mainstream, mahjong can currently be equated to an underground sensation – even though the game’s centuries old and definitely has a strong niche around the world. It just hasn’t branched off quite enough to become the proverbial next big thing.
For this, it’s going to take a television market to push it. Before ESPN picked up poker, nobody in their right mind through that a sports channel would air poker. But it happened, and mahjong’s day in the sun could be imminent.
Whether or not it’s going to happen for mahjong remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure: this classic game will always have strong support regardless of how popular it becomes in the mainstream. And with the host of sites already offering mahjong, it doesn’t really need to explode anymore than it already has.
Just be warned: the day may come—and may come soon—when all you see in terms of online gaming are ads for mahjong sites. It might not replace online roulette gambling, but it could very well share the spotlight.