In the wake of the new federal ban on Internet betting, some optimists predicted that, because of exemptions for online gaming within a state’s borders, the door may have been opened to some form of Internet or server-based gaming.
Progressive Gaming along with Harrah’s Entertainment may be ready to slide their collective feet through that door.
Last week, the companies announced a new server-based Texas Hold’em game designed to be played by casino customers on a wired or wireless device through a secured intranet system.
The game is called World Series of Poker "Peer to Peer" Texas Hold’em, and will be accessible to casino customers in a hotel bar, restaurant, spa or poolside.
"We believe the Peer to Peer system, both the wired and/or wireless versions, has a potential global marketplace of over 5,000 legalized gaming venues," said Russ McMeekin, president and CEO of PGIC. "We expect to submit this system to GLI during the fourth quarter of 2006 and comply with other standard regulatory approval processes."
McMeekin added that the technology will be submitted to jurisdictions such as Nevada, New Jersey, Canada and other International markets throughout 2006-07.
"We expect this new poker gaming system to be of one of our key products showcased at the upcoming global gaming show (G2E) this November in Las Vegas," he said.
The Peer to Peer Texas Hold’em gaming system is expected to be offered on a wireless and wired hardware platform accessed by a mobile handheld device or a fixed terminal.
Harrah’s, which owns the right to the World Series of Poker brand, has extended the license for its use by Progressive Gaming on a limited exclusive basis for a six year term.
Upon receiving Gaming Laboratories International ("GLI") approval, PGIC has committed to place a minimum number of units which the company fully expects to meet based on early customer interest.
"Many regulated operators do not have poker rooms," said Ken Weil, senior vice president of gaming at Harrah’s. "The World Series of Poker Peer to Peer Texas Hold’em gaming system provides operators with the ability to offer their patrons the opportunity to participate in exciting Texas Hold’em poker game competitions that capture the excitement of an authentic WSOP experience. As a casino operator and brand licensor, we are very excited by the strategic and economic opportunity that the gaming system can provide Harrah’s."