Playtech has already got a foot in the door of the US online poker industry, with a joint venture foray into to the Californian online poker market. The JV is Sciplay and this company will be providing software and other related technology and marketing to COPA – the California Online Poker Association. Before the end of this year, the first scheduled free-play site will be launched.
According to COPA more than 2 million Californians play poker online illegally every week, through offshore operators. After five months of brainstorming, the agreement reached with Sciplay creates an online poker platform which allows Californians to participate legally in intrastate poker. Apparently the DoJ indictments of Poker Stars, Full Tilt and so on, has made the timing perfect for this new platform to be launched.
Now that these so-called illegal poker brands, with their massive liquidity are out of the way, there is an urgent demand for legal online poker in the US. The massive Californian market means that COPA is ready to take up where these big brands were cut-off. The only thing they are currently awaiting is for state legislation to be passed which will regulate and legalize online poker in this state. It is believed by gambling and entertainment experts in the US that online gambling regulation and legislation will spread from state to state at a very fast rate from now on.
The California Online Poker Association represents thirty-one licensed card clubs and twenty-nine tribal governments. Between them, these groups control 65% of all authorized poker tables in California. They are also supporters of the Bill SB 40 which seeks to make legal, the claim for card clubs and tribes to operate online. The Bill was introduced to California State Senate in December 2010 by Senator Lou Correa.Written by Neha A.