Playtech software group has shown how confident it is that changes will soon be felt in the US online poker market, by signing a lucrative deal with the California Online Poker Association. The licensing agreement will see the software group provide quality software to the coalition of Indian tribal governments and card rooms in California. Playtech’s joint venture with Scientific Games Corporation, known as SciPlay, will provide the California Online Poker Association with online poker games for the state’s poker players – of which there are around two million.
California is considered the most active online poker state in the country, and it is estimated that players spent $13 billion a year wagering online at poker sites.
In the meantime, COPA will put all its efforts into supporting a couple of bills that should see California introduce intrastate poker if all goes well on a state legislative level. The group comprises 31 card clubs and 29 tribal governments and seen as a powerful lobbying force behind the bills.
An analyst noted: “We see California as the key state in terms of poker liquidity and COPA a highly attractive licensee within. Playtech is therefore very well place for potential poker legislation in our view.”
For the time being, Playtech, through SciPlay will be providing COPA members with ‘play for fun’ online poker only, until such time as changes are made to the current legislation. Playtech was once a very active in the US gambling market until it left following the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. The group was never targeted by the US authorities, unlike its rival, Party Gaming, which landed up paying the Department of Justice over $100 million in a settlement fee.