Gaming Software Giant Exits European Online Poker Market

International Gaming Technology (IGT) is one of the world’s largest casino and poker games software development companies, based out of Nevada. The company supplies games software to brick-and-mortar casinos, as well as international online casinos and poker rooms. But last week, IGT announced that the European internet gaming market has become entirely too volatile, thus it is pulling the plug on its online poker supplications across the region.

Just last year, IGT shelled out a whopping $115 million for the acquisition of the Entraction Poker Network, and two weeks ago, the gaming software giant announced that it would be shutting down the online poker network altogether. It wasn’t that long ago that we watched IGT pull out of several international regions, particularly those where the legalities are questionable, and now it looks like IGT is working towards confining its operations to within the borders of the United States, at least as far as the impending future of online gaming is concerned.

The company made it clear that it finds the European online poker gamut to be a jumbled mess of regulatory confusion at the moment, and IGT doesn’t feel that it’s worth keepings its relations overseas for the time being.

IGT is likely referring to the same information that came from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which released its finding from a recent study that declared Europe to be a whirlpool of “national online gaming monopolies”, something that leaves little room for outsiders like Nevada-based IGT to make a worthwhile profit in the region. According to the study, growth is probable “toward countries working together on licensing and pooling liquidity across borders, especially for poker.”

A report in the Las Vegas Review Journal affirmed that International Gaming Technology has plenty of room to spearhead online poker development in the US. The company has already acquired a license to perform business-to-business provisions of virtual poker technologies. IGT already supplies a host of Nevada’s brick-and-mortar casinos with its versatile gaming systems, and is now looking to further solidify its existing relationships with the state’s casino operators by teaming up for online gambling endeavors, expected to hit the world wide web as early as 2013.

While the idea of being a premier provider of online poker software to a state of 2.7 million residents that are known for their gambling prowess is an operable one, the option of operating online gaming communities nationwide would certainly be a lot more appealing to any relative software development company. Nevada state officials are right up there with IGT in the hopes that a federal bill will arise in the very near future to allow for a nationally legal framework for online poker. Although the subject has been revived on Capitol Hill, industry analysts have serious doubts about whether Congress will legalize internet poker on a national level any time soon.

Thus far, only Nevada and Delaware have succeeded in legalizing intra-state online poker, both of which are in the licensing phase. California and a few other states are still in the process of trying to legalize online poker within their borders. IGT and companies of its kind would stand to be a lot more successful in a national market. Imagine if Nevada-based online poker sites could promote their brand across the border of California, combing the 2.7 million population of the Silver State with Cali’s 37.7 million residents.