By Nathan Carroll, Rakeback.com Poker News
Caesar's Interactive Entertainment (formerly known as Harrah's Interactive Entertainment) and Italian gambling dynamo Microgame recently announced a long-term partnership intended to expand the prestige of the World Series of Poker brand into European territory.
Microgame operates an Italian national network called People's Poker which has been one of the largest in the country ever since legislation passed in fall 2010 formally regulated the Italian market. People's Poker is comprised of more than 120 distinct skins, and has played host to an average of 4679 players at any given time over the past seven days, according to online poker traffic tracking site PokerScout.com.
The terms of the agreement dictate that Microgame will be the exclusive provider of satellite events into the WSOP and will be able to pre-register Italian players for the WSOP's main event.
Additionally, Microgame will be allowed to apply WSOP branding to any live tournament held in the country during the time of the agreement.
Both parties are excited about the opportunities presented by the exclusive partnership. "This agreement is a logical step in our European and global expansion strategy to partner with leading local companies as we look to expand the WSOP brand," said Caesar's Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber.
Although PokerScout shows PokerStars.it holding a slight edge over Microgame for the market lead in Italy, the press release issued by the WOSP is not willing to grant such a concession and boldly declares People's Poker to be the largest network in the country. Presumptuous as that may be, it's likely that it will eventually prove to be correct; with Microgame as the sole provider of satellites to the WSOP, expect the network to see a big traffic boost in the months leading up to poker's summertime jam.
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