New players emerging in US online poker industry

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 06, 2011 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

After the old guard took their lumps on Black Friday, the road was basically paved in gold for the mega-casinos who have recently thrown their weight behind online poker legislation in the United States. Even before Black Friday we saw a number of Brick & Mortar casino giants partnering with online poker sites –Fertitta Interactive and Full Tilt Poker, Harrahs and 888 Poker, and Wynn and PokerStars—but all of these deals were taken off the table after Black Friday.

Now the mega-casinos are back –with a number of new lobbying groups behind them—and we have seen some new partnerships formed. Everyone from Groupe Bernard Tapie’s takeover of Full Tilt Poker, to Donald Trump’s interest in the online poker market has come to light, as well as deals between MGM and Boyd who have partnered with BWin.Party, and Fertitta Interactive’s new partnership with a California-based online poker development company, CyberArts.

Many people believe these deals are harbingers for online poker legislation in the US, with more conspiratorial people suggesting that some of these companies were the impetus for Black Friday –basically pushing aside any potential competition from established online poker brands.

It’s still unclear how any potential legislation will deal with Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, not to mention other existing sites like Party Poker, 888 Poker, and even smaller sites like PKR Poker that have steered clear of the US market.

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