Legal Uncertainties in US Deter IGT Real Money Gambling Plans

Sep 16, 2012
Legal Uncertainties in US Deter IGT Real Money Gambling Plans
After reports that it is pulling its IGT Poker Network (fomerly Entraction) back from online poker, the company made some clarifications of its recent moves via IGT's vice president for emerging business, Robert Melendres.

In his statement to the media, Melendres specified that the company is not planning to initiate any real-money action in near future due to political and legal uncertainty in America.

As he said: ”Right now we're very much focused on taking social gaming product and driving that very, very hard as a way of helping our casino properties leverage online gaming.

“From IGT's perspective, real-money gaming is ours for the taking … IGT is one of the very few companies that's been on both sides so we've been able to see what happens in the real currency world and social gaming side," he explained.

Referring to the company's purchase of Double Down Interactive, Melendres added that the company's “DoubleDown Partnership Program” lets custtomers incorporate the game into their own casino sites, which actually serves three purposes: enabling IGT to stay connected to their players by offering a real casino experience from anywhere; stimulating players to return to the actual casino; and bringing money to everyone, thanks to the fact that the casinos can engage in revenue sharing.

Furthermore, the IGT official expressed belief that real-money gaming will come to social poker games first, adding that once this happens, casinos will offer online poker.

”The beauty of what we're doing right now is that I truly believe the DoubleDown Partner Program is a superior offering to the poker program,” he said, assessing that even though social gaming to real money conversion rates are low, it'd take only a small percentage of those enormous numbers produced by social gaming to make the business a lucrative one.

“We want to be responsive to the marketplace. Right now we're focused on developing the DoubleDown brand and will continue to leverage that," Melendres concluded.
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