Tuesday, February 20, 2007
What's the over/under on the holy grail of online gambling, China, being opened up to us unwashed masses? Things are moving forward and probably quicker than you think.
And so I enjoyed this thread in 2+2 about the impending Asian online gambling market. Even Oliver Tse, resident expert about all things Asian gambling chimes in at the end of the thread with his two cents: Online Poker In Asia
I also found this related article that I thought I'd share. You can also check out the press releases in the Playtech site and start connecting some dots here and there. Party Poker, per usual, is ahead of the curve.
PLAYTECH MOVES INTO CHINA
The race to conquer the global online gaming market is now well and truly underway, with poker seen as the main focus by most companies.
Europe is pretty much locked up, the US recently closed itself off from the rest of the world with its insular gambling laws and Africa isn't quite ready yet.
No wonder then that focus is shifting to the world's most populous nation, China, for the next big push. Whoever manages to capture this burgeoning market will create a massive revenue stream for themselves.
As such it comes as no surprise that Playtech, the listed international designer, developer and licenser of software for the online and land-based gaming industry, has penned a landmark five year software deal with China's leading gaming group: Sino Strategic International.
SSI is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and is a diversified investment holding company. Its primary operations are in the large and fast growing Chinese gaming, internet and mobile media markets.
Playtech and SSI will be the first major distributor and promoter of Texas Hold'em Poker in the Chinese market. Following the launch of the poker product in the coming months, SSI expects to launch a selection of Playtech powered P2P Chinese tournament games through selected SSI outlets in China in the first half of 2007 after a testing, approval and implementation period.
Avigur Zmora, Chief Executive Officer of Playtech, comments: "This is a major development for both Playtech and SSI bringing the Play for Real P2P tournament gaming experience to China at appropriately licensed gaming outlets for the first time. The Chinese market is a vast and incredibly exciting marketplace and Playtech is extremely well positioned to assist operators such as SSI in rolling out new gaming products in a phased manner in accordance with Chinese regulations."
"This license agreement will further establish Playtech's presence in Asia and is in line with the Company's ongoing strategy. Playtech is increasingly Asian-facing and this transaction is another milestone in further diversifying the geographical reach of the business and its customer base."
Richard Li, Chief Operating Officer, Australia, of Sino Strategic International states: "In Playtech, we have found a software provider that has a clear understanding of the Asian gaming marketplace and who understands the intricacies of gaming in China. The private gaming network, consisting of up to 5,000 terminals to be implemented by Playtech, will upon completion, expand the SSI gaming terminal network significantly. SSI also intends to further expand this network via franchising to other parts of China over the next five years."
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