Billiards Bonanza: Worldwide Growth Fuelled By Online And Offline Contests

Once upon a time, billiards was perhaps considered in a very different light than it is today. Whether rightly or wrongly, many people will have heard the word “billiards” and conjured up an image of a smoke-filled bar, or a billiard hall populated by people who perhaps had nothing better to do. Firstly, let me suggest such images are not just incorrect, but they do not do justice to one of the finest versions of the many cue and ball sports played on the green baize.

This glorious sport is now far from the days when the Billiards Association was first formed in 1885. Much like the gambling and casino industries, this is a form of entertainment, a pastime, a sport that may have started off as a niche in terms of player numbers and where it was played, but is now both mainstream and globally popular. Again, like casinos, it has enjoyed a resurgence as an online game, too. Just like there are a range of betting sites in Canada, that offer various sports odds, for example, there is also a plethora of online billiards websites and apps, showcasing my point about its arrival into the mainstream and overall popularity.

More to the point, however, is the fact that billiards is now a sport that is not just played by more people: it is a commercial venture, like its cousin, snooker. With a worldwide player base, and now more coverage in the form of the many hours of coverage available on various online platforms, the sport of billiards has grown exponentially.

With this, the number of competitions has grown, as have the prize pots, and with men’s and women’s tournaments on the rise, this acceleration looks set to continue. But what about online billiards? What about how many people watch and how many contests are there? It’s all very interesting, and if we take a look, we’ll likely see why and how billiards is now a global game with worldwide potential, both realised and ongoing.

Top Talent, Top Tournaments, Top Billing: Pool, Billiards, On The Up

Whether you refer to this 9-ball game as billiards or pool, one thing is certain: the sport to which you refer is very much on the up. If we take a look at the number of pool tournaments around the world each year, a few things stand out. One of those things is the size of these tournaments, another is the value of the prize money, and another is the amount of video coverage that these tournaments now enjoy. This is all down to the growth of the sport worldwide, but also the commercial value that this popularity enhances.

Take the World Pool Championship and the Mosconi Cup. In the case of the latter, a contest between teams from Europe and the United States, it is similar in its intensity to that other well-known contest between these two, the Ryder Cup of golf. As with that, the coverage on network televisions worldwide, is wall to wall, or ball to ball in this case, if you will forgive the pun. Take a look at the global pool match calendar and you will soon see how popular it is in terms of how many tournaments there are now. With more opportunities to play, there are more professional players, and with this, the future of the sport becomes more secure as more people take it up.

The World Pool Championship is the most popular billiards-based competition each year, with players now competing for a share of a record US$1 million pot, a prize amount that continues to rise, especially as tournaments are played in places investing in the sport, such as Saudi Arabia, where the tournament will take place in 2024. Add to this the fact that snooker is also growing in that region, and you will understand that this is a sport that now has more top players, more top billing in terms of the prestige of the tournaments, and more top prizes, making it a sport that is on the up for organisers, players, and fans alike.

From Streaming to Apps, Pool Popularity Is Online Too

Much like we mentioned earlier, about how the world of the casino was taken online and harnessed its popularity with a whole new audience, so the pool and billiards world is also embracing online opportunities. Do any search for online pool, online billiards, or any combination of this general idea, and you will land on page after page of wonderful options. From apps to download to live pool tournaments online, and iGaming options that take online billiards to the next level, this is a sport that has well and truly taken the power of the virtual world and used it to both sustain its existing popularity and to grow it and create a whole new audience to add to the already devoted player base.

Another byproduct of this online popularity is the fact that the billiards industry as a whole is looking at highly positive projections. From the number of apps increasing daily to the fact that more and more professional quality pool tables are now being ordered around the world, for both commercial and home settings, this is a sport that is skyrocketing for all in the industry.

One way or another, from humbler 19th-century beginnings, billiards, or pool, has become a truly global sensation in the world of cue and ball sports. Whether it is the rise of the World Pool Championship, the fervour and fan-inspiring Mosconi Cup, or the plethora of online pool playing opportunities, people love this sport, love to play it, love to watch it. With all this in mind, I would happily place my bet on the fact that billiards has a healthy future, even in the ultra-competitive world of green baize sports.