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Mergers and Strategic Alliances Abound in Poker Industry

By Scott Carlson, Rakeback.com Poker News Senior Writer

poker-strategic-alliancesWith a number of mergers and strategic alliances happening in the online poker industry you have to  wonder “What’s next?” The bombshell dropped Thursday night when PokerStars and Wynn Resorts announced a strategic alliance took poker industry insiders by surprise. Not even a hint of that one came out in advance of the formal announcement.

The alliance when you look at it makes perfect sense. The big brick and mortar casinos will be looking to run their own online poker rooms if and when the UIGEA is ever done away with. The massive databases of potential players that Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International have certainly gives them a leg-up when trying to gain market share. Smaller operators such as Wynn Resorts need to find an already established online room in order to compete.

The Wynn/PokerStars alliance has further implications outside of the United States as well. We may soon be seeing the Asia Pacific Poker Tour event in Macau being held at The Wynn (schedule is to be released in May). Currently PokerStars has an alliance with the Grand Lisboa in Macau. We might see that end fairly fast.

So what’s next?

Wicked Chops Poker reported Saturday that Full Tilt Poker and Station Casinos are looking at some sort of strategic alliance. Interesting choice as Station Casinos gear towards the local Las Vegas market and have no presence outside of the United States. A Venetian/Full Tilt Poker alliance would make a lot more sense. The Venetian sits in the exact same markets as Wynn and could be a natural competitor.

The live/online strategic alliances are not the only ones going on recently. Just some of the more recent items include:

  • DoylesRoom moving from Cake Network to Yatahay Network –  A rumored percentage of ownership in the network may have been one reason for the move.
  • Victory Poker moving from Cake Network to Cereus Network – This one is still in the rumor stages although the move appears to be imminent.
  • Cake Network and PokerListings form alliance – This one is still fairly new and it’s not known if Cake was sold outright or not.
  • Party Poker and Bwin merger – Merger set to be completed at the end of the month.

As you can see there is a wide variety of activity happening in the poker world. Expect more of the same in the near future.

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