With its buyout of the world poker tour (WPT) now complete, PartyPoker has set its sights on becoming the number one name in the poker industry. PartyGaming's chief marketing officer Chris Welch said on November 19th, 2009 that they will leverage both the WPT and PartyPoker as best as they can to challenge their competitors.
Before the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was approved into law in the US on October 13th, 2006 and PartyPoker effectively backed out of the US gaming market, it was the number one online poker site in the US.
Since that time, PokerStars has made its presence felt in the gaming industry with more than twenty-eight poker players all over the world. A vital catalyst for PokerStars' growth has been the strong emergence of the EPT (European Poker Tour).
While the World Poker Tour has always been credited for helping with the boom of poker, it has since been surpassed by the PokerStars EPT, which boasted a total cash pool in excess of $55 million over eleven poker events last season, making it the biggest poker tour in the world.
However, Chris Welch said that PartyGaming subsidiary Peerless Media Limited's $12.3 million buyout of the World Poker Tour, approved by shareholders earlier this month, now has the group primed to compete with gaming companies across the world.
The World Poker Tour plans on launching an aggressive growth strategy particularly in France and Italy to start competing with the European Poker Tour. Welch said that the expansion will include featuring more online satellites into WPT event all over the world.
While other online sites other than PokerStars once offered satellites for European Poker Tour events, many stopped after PokerStars forced its players to use the branding of the site.Welch says the World Poker Tour and PartyPoker will be using a different approach. But the battle for supremacy on the online poker world will not just be fought on the European continent.
In April 2009, PartyGaming entered into a $105 million settlement with the United States Attorney General's Office to avoid prosecution for providing online gaming services to US gamers before the enactment of the UIGEA. Under the terms of the agreement, PartyGaming agreed to stay out of the US online gaming market under current legislation and is hoping, should the current gaming legislation change, it would be in a good position to move back in. Welch said that the buyout of the World Poker Tour is another way PartyGaming is paving it way back into the US.
Welch said that should the US gaming market open up, it is going to place them in a good position, which is way ahead of their competition. He added that they have taken the long view while some other groups have taken the short view and should the US market open up, they are back to being the number one online poker site again.
December 07, 2009