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PKR Poker Founder Jez San Warning on Real Money Social Gaming

By , Rakeback.com Executive Editor

Inventor and Founder of PKR poker, Jez San OBE, has been active, not to say hyper active in a number of social gaming conferences recently. At the Social Gaming Summit in San Francisco he laid out his own warnings about real money social gaming.

As the boundaries have blurred between gambling and gaming, with industry leader Zynga launching real money bingo, and entering a partnership with PartyPoker, there has been a heightened level of interest from regulators and law makers world wide.

Jez San believes the boundaries need clarification. His comments came following a presentation by Betable which markets an application programming interface which can convert social games into real money gambling products.

“I think that Betable and companies like that are a real threat. What it effectively enables any gaming company to do is to take their existing social game and make it playable for real money.”

He explains that the audit and verification process that is required for online poker doesn’t apply to these games: “All the mechanics that real-money games go through – the auditing and the verification and everything else – are all missing from the development side of those social games.”


“the problem is that those existing social games weren’t designed to be played for real money. They’re not designed around fairness.”

Online poker has developed an audit system and regulatory framework that players can have confidence in. Social games that want to turn a profit by turning themselves into real money gambling lack this credibility. It is common for play money casino games to be “rigged” so that early plays are more likely to win, to keep the player on site for longer. Online poker is clean in comparison.

His remarks carry real weight because his background and probity give him both experience and credibility in the industry. He started as a games designer, being co designer of the first 3D gaming chip. As an entrepreneur he has built and sold games companies, and as a poker player, he has turned his energies to creating a real money online poker site that offers a totally different experience from the standard sites.

PKR.com draws on his internet games expertise to offer online poker players a virtual replica of the casino experience, and uses all the tools of technology not just to reproduce the elements of poker online, but to offer players a complete playing experience.

When you check your cards while playing on PKR.com, so does your avatar and everyone else at the table can see you doing it. PKR has created a version of online poker where physical tells are as important as statistics.

Perhaps more than anyone, Jez San is fumbling towards one possible future for internet poker--an interactive virtual reality future. When he criticizes the transformation of entertainment games into gambling vehicles, he is talking as an evangelist for all online gaming, not a protector of the status quo.

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