Internet Gives Boost to Online Poker Players
Guarded words in a September trade statement sent its shares into a spinning fall, from which it has at last improved by taking a more hard line position against its competitors.
PartyGaming plans this year, to inaugurate its new PartyCasino site, which will run along with its existing Starluck Casino, in addition to two new games.
PartyGaming spokesman Segal says that there will be two new products introduced next year. He says that in the first half a person-to-person skill game will be introduced, and in the second half there will be another game that is more akin to casino game.
PartyGaming will also commence a “shared purse” feature that helps players to switch from one game to another game.
If for example, says Segal, you want to go from playing on Starluck Casino to PartyPoker, it’s more than one click away but that is slated to change.”
Apart from making life easier for players, the shared purse will make it easier for PartyGaming to cross-sell its various games to them.80 per cent of PartyGaming’s revenues come from the United States, where poker dwells in a grey area on the periphery of legality. But PartyGaming plans to launch, in the second half of 2006, its games in six new forms of currencies and six languages.
It will do us well to reduce our dependence on the United States market said Segal, from an investor’s point of view.
But in Asian expansion with the regulatory environment, he sees problems of low penetration of broadband Internet and problems with credit cards and with fraud. Segal says that he views Asia is more medium-term than short-term.
Even though casino games and sports betting are being transferred to mobile phones effectively, poker is proving difficult because the games can take longer, during which time the mobile signal can stop working.
On the other hand, as Segal explains, a sports bet is very easy to place. It only takes one text each way. But, explains Segal, you should try to imagine you’re playing poker and you are holding a royal flush and then your connection goes down. The company does not want unhappy customers.
Segal explains that it is still really early and that they are still looking at test results. The indications however, don’t seem to be pointing toward mobiles.
By contrast, digital television, is proving to show potential as a medium through which players might soon interact.
Some analysts have criticized PartyGaming recently as being too focused on poker and for lacking the opportunities for cross-selling. Asked if PartyGaming was thinking of buying a sports betting operation, Segal said that they were not concerned about acquiring companies that receive sports bets from the United States, but are looking at opportunities elsewhere.