Playtech Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Gaming iGaming Media Man
Playtech earlier today became the virgin British firm in the online gambling - gaming sector to return to the United States, five years after President George Bush outlawed the industry.
The strategic move also comes weeks after "Black Friday" when the federal authorities indicted three of the world's largest online poker sites, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, on charges of money laundering, bank fraud and violating anti-gambling statutes. Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, the world's leading igaming firm, is not facing the same dramas, having come to terms with the United States Department Of Justice a few years ago to the tune of over a $100 million.
Playtech and its joint-venture partner Scientific Games have signed an agreement with the California Online Poker Association. Copa represents 31 card clubs and 29 native tribal governments who own rights to gambling proceeds in the state. Playtech will supply COPA with the technology to launch "free-to-play" online poker sites ahead of widely expected legislation allowing state-by-state online gambling.
With two bills before the Senate, Playtech said the timing of when it would go live depended on the change in regulation but could become a "very substantial revenue source". It's estimated that two million Californians gamble illegally on offshore online poker websites.
Insiders noted that competitor online UK gambling company Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment - formally PartyGaming, paid $105 million (£65 million) to settle with the US authorities. Playtech was never targeted by the US authorities.
Playtech is also understood to be eyeing off a number of other countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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