Gambling City

We are Cash Back

Poker in the USA – What Does IGT Think?

Author: Neha Agrawal

So many people in the gambling industry in the USA, have had so much to say about legislation and regulation of the online casino industry in this country. And yet, nothing ever seems to move forward, apart from the fact that the State of Nevada Gambling Commission has now legalised these games. However, and this is a very BIG HOWEVER, the only game currently considered to be legal is online poker, and it can only be played on an intrastate level. “Intrastate” means only within the state of Nevada, which doesn’t give it much scope to make profits for any operator.

IGT recently had a bit of a financial setback in Europe where they purchased the Swedish – Entraction Poker Network - for quite a few million dollars, and the product basically flopped. IGT believes that Entraction failed due to top-heavy European legal and regulatory structure, however, at least these structures are in place. And the CEO of IGT recently made comment regarding her opinion of the online poker landscape and it’ potential regulation in the USA.

Patti Hart (IGT CEO) was interviewed with regards her predictions about online poker and the general Internet gambling landscape in the United States. According to her, we shouldn’t expect too much to take place, even in 2013. Although many British and European gambling brands have been aligning them-selves with USA counterparts to get into this industry on the ground floor, Hart believes that the next twelve months won’t see anything significant take place.

Even though IGT has taken advantage of the current changes in law – such as the change taking place in Nevada – online poker legislation, has not taken hold throughout all US states. For many operators, a Nevada only playing pool won’t justify the cost of setting up a website.

The strange thing is that the AGA - American Gaming Association - recently demonstrated how a $4 billion industry would be worth over $10 billion in a very short time, there still hasn’t been any serious contenders as far as getting regulations passed at the federal level. Most online poker operators believe that only Federal regulation will make this a viable industry.

IGT also recently tapped into the social media and gaming marketplace, with the purchase of Double Down, and seems to have much more faith in the potential of the social gaming market, than they do in legislated and regulated poker online. The company paid$500 million for DoubleDown, and we don’t believe they will let this investment go the same way as they did Entraction.