Ten days ago, following a series of investigations into illegal activities, including money laundering from criminal activities, US authorities have sequestered the sites of three of the major online poker operators.
They have already re-named the Black Friday of online poker. Last Friday, April 15, virtual Texas Hold’em enthusiasts – and other variants – learned one of those stories that they would never want to read: American online poker, the richest and most attractive market on the planet, is at risk closure.
This has strongly shaken the online gaming world, severely damaging the American market and having strong repercussions on European online poker sites.
The value of the actions of the three American sites involved in the scandal, Absolute Poker , PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker is undergoing major losses. However, it seems that the strangeness in the case of the European emanations of poker houses is established. The European market for now is safe, and online poker and online gaming companies that are far away from the US market are having extremely encouraging stock market increases.
The BwinParty company, created in March after the merger between Bwin and Partygaming , saw a 30% increase in the value of its shares. The 888 and Ladbrokes , in the process of a merger, have set aside negotiations for a collaboration that would have involved, in particular, the iPoker network; Fears of a loss on the market for this news were dampened by a 19% increase in 888. The Playtech , the company that makes the games used in major online casinos , and Sportingbet, are also growing .
William Hill, a British betting company, is in the process of growth and acquisition: he has bought the American Wagering company, to which Leroy belongs (a company with seventy points of gambling in the state of Nevada ), and is about to buy Also Club Cala Neva’s Satellite Race and Sports Book Division .
Industry analysts are trying to imagine the different scenarios that may occur, but it is still too early to understand what and how much impact Europe will play in online gambling.
And now what will happen?
It is difficult to determine what can happen to the online poker movement, both in the US and globally. However, it is very likely that the Texas Hold’em gold age has come to an end: if, as is likely to be the case, online poker will be officially declared illegal in the United States, this would mean a hard hit for the market .
Many professional players would find no sponsors, as well as major TV broadcasts on poker. Even the WSOPs, which each year welcome thousands of qualified players through satellite tournaments, could have major repercussions.