Another industry initiative based on the opportunities afforded by
UK online gaming regulation surfaced this week when Internet video
games provider CYOP Systems International Inc. announced it is to
launch a poker software licensing subsidiary titled Red Felt Software
Ltd. based in the United Kingdom.
The Canadian company has engaged a London firm to form and register the new subsidiary in Britain, and licensing the poker game through this medium will become part of the business strategy of the CYOP.
Mitch White, the CEO of the company says that more than 200 online poker sites collectively are generating about $2 billion a year in revenues, equal to 40 percent of last year's $5 billion in gambling revenues from all of the Las Vegas "Strip".
An estimated 1.7 million players are active online, meaning they've played in the past six months. And about 150,000 people play on an average day, according to PokerPulse.com, which tracks the online poker market. Americans are thought to account for more than 70 percent of all players.
The ease of internet wagering has led to the ongoing rise in gambling at a rate of about 30 percent per year, and the company believes that this is still a very small percentage of the online gambling population that is actively playing online poker. CYOP also has plans to launch into the Asian market.
White says the company had planned to launch its poker game software on May 1, 2005. "However, we have made the decision to delay this to ensure it is 100 percent market ready with beta testing complete, translation complete and all integration issues resolved prior to launch and marketing on the SINA network. While a delay is regrettable, we believe in the long run there is more value as confidence in product and operations is paramount in the online gaming sector. Being nearly ready is not the same as ready."