Playtech Signs US Poker Deal
The moment the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was promulgated in 2006 Playtech a top internet gaming software provider exited the United States.
Playtech just concluded a new business venture describing it as a “return to its American operations”. The deal to furnish internet poker software comes just three months after Black Friday; this indicates the length most gaming software providers are prepared to go to tap into the highly lucrative American internet gambling market in spite of the Department of Justice’s actions.
The business deal has been concluded via Sciplay, a joint venture partnership between Playtech and its U.S-based partner Scientific Games. In a bid to firmly entrench it in the online poker market Sciplay managed to secure a poker contract with the California Online Poker Association (COPA).
Until internet poker is legalized and properly regulated in California, be it via state or federal legislation. For the time being Sciplay will provide internet poker services intrastate play-for-fun. The moment internet poker is legalized; Playtech will license its poker software and IMS operator management system to COPA enabling it to accept real money wagers. Playtech has to decide if it wants to set up a poker network only or expand its focus on a “mega brand” on behalf of COPA. The precise terms of the deal has not been disclosed.
As a result of this deal Playtech is now in a very strong position to fully exploit internet gambling in America. California in all probability might be the very first state to legalize internet poker in the United States. It has an estimated 2 million poker players and the largest poker playing state in the U.S.
The play-for-fun set up enables players to acquaint themselves with the new system’s software and to hone their skills ahead of real cash play. Within the foreseeable future this deal could potentially for Playtech become a very significant source of revenue. Playtech said in its latest statement that the timing of its revenues depends largely on when regulation will take place. However, Playtech aims to create a franchise via its play-for-fun operations kicking off later this year. Playtech is listed company on the London Stock Exchange, its shares increased by 6% on this news.
Mor Weizer, CEO of Playtech and Rick Weil, CEO of Sciplay, both released a statement that read as follow, “COPA is very well placed to become a licensed operator should Internet poker become legalized in the state of California.” The statement added that both companies were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with COPA. COPA is California’s largest group of regulated land-based casino and poker internet casinos which comprise of 29 official tribal governments and 31 card clubs. It includes Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, one of the largest poker rooms in the world. In California COPA generates approximately 60% of poker revenue.
Presently two bills have been introduced to the state senate. The first is SB 40, a poker only bill and the other is SB 45 aiming to legalize internet gambling in its entirety. Whether other modes of internet gambling such as internet casinos, will join forces with internet poker or come later, this deal with COPA gives Playtech a unique platform to cater to all internet gambling verticals across the United States.[addtoany]