Caesars Interactive Entertaining, a wholly owned subsidiary of one of the biggest gambling companies in the world, announced recently that it has acquired the World Series of Poker (WSOP) mobile application.
The company further states that it purchased the app with the intention of expanding “its presence in free-to-play social and mobile gaming.” The WSOP mobile app was developed by a team of 19 qualified developers in Canada. Playtika, a division of Caesars, will operate the WSOP mobile app as a social game for free play.
The WSOP mobile app is available on platforms such as Amazon Kindle, Facebook, iOS, and Android. Launched in 2012, it has been downloaded by over 6 million players.
Caesars Interactive Entertainment further announced: “The catalyst for the deal was the acquisition of certain World Series of Poker game assets and intellectual property from Electronic Arts.” According to the terms of this acquisition deal, Electronic Arts transferred its ownership and global rights to the WSOP application for Facebook and mobile devices to Caesars.
Caesars is one of the most powerful lobbyists for online poker legalization in the US. Ever since the federal online poker bill, jointly proposed by Kyl and Reid, failed last year, individual US states have been scrambling to legalize intrastate online poker and form interstate online poker compacts. Although another federal level online gambling bill has been proposed, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada is skeptical about its success. Early this month, Reid was reported to have said: “I felt for several months now that I don’t see any movement on this. I don’t see anything happening.” Experts say that the newly proposed federal online gaming bill is bound to fail because it clubs online poker with online casino gaming and is not an exclusive poker-only bill.
Meanwhile, the online poker community is deeply interested in the fate of online poker in the US. Online poker players in the US are apprehensive about playing real money poker online following the federal crackdown on major online poker rooms such as Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars in April 2011. Although Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have legalized intrastate online poker, many experts feel that state-wise legalization could lead to confusion. Federal level legalization is the need of the hour, they say.
The WSOP is currently in progress. The $10k WSOP Main Event is expected to have a field of 7,000 players, playing for their share of a $20 million prize pool.