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Yahoo! Enters Real Money Online Poker Industry
Sat, Apr 28th, 2007 @ 12:00am
Yahoo! has launched Yahoo Poker, a real money online poker room by partnering with St. Minver Ltd., the Gibraltar-based white-label online gaming group and running on the International Poker Network (IPN), owned and operated by software provider Boss Media AB of Sweden.
Players resident in the USA are not currently accepted, but most other countries can register and play for real money. Yahoo has initially targeted the European poker market.
This is the first time an Internet Service Provider (ISP) has opened a real money online poker room. AOL, another significant U.S. ISP, operates only a 'play money' site at this time. And computer industry giant Microsoft includes a play money poker game in its latest operating system, Windows Vista.
As an ISP, Yahoo! has access to huge numbers of potential players. And it has a distinct marketing advantage by having one the most recognizable brand names on the Internet, as well as a considerable marketing reach. So it could quickly become a dominant online poker site.
Because of this, the online poker industry is watching closely to see how much impact Yahoo! will have.
Both Party Poker and Poker Stars have previously stated that the real competition starts once these multi-billion dollar corporate "giants" enter the arena. Today, Yahoo! is cutting its teeth on the European poker market.
Also noteworthy is that Yahoo! made its announcement the same day that US Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007 to license, regulate and tax online poker and online gambling in the USA. The bill sets out to counter how the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 made it illegal for financial institutions to process transactions between US residents and online gambling sites.
So stay tuned- we may continue to see more new horses circling around before the starting gates, getting ready to vie for the lucrative USA online poker market when it reopens.
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