International Game Technology (IGT), the world’s biggest manufacturer of slot gaming machines, stopped offering online poker gaming services in Europe, following changes in the regulatory system.
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When a few European countries changed their poker gaming laws, making it illegal for citizens to play online poker against players from other countries, IGT withdrew from Europe. The above was confirmed by Patti Hart, chief executive officer for IGT. Hart said, “The business shifted from dot com to dot country. There’s less profitability and the product becomes less interesting.”
The international slots manufacturer, which has its offices at Reno in Nevada, spent $115 million to acquire Entraction Holding AB last year. Entraction Holding AB is a company in Sweden, which offered online poker services to European players. Entraction Poker Network, a brand belonging to Entraction Holding AB, had several small and large skins, which are now making preparations to move to other networks such as Microgaming.
IGT, however, has withdrawn only its poker gaming services in Europe. It continues to offer online slot gaming, online bingo gaming, and online sports betting in Europe. According to Hart, it is also conducting an evaluation of its staff in Europe.
Ever since it made the major decision to withdraw from Europe, IGT shares plummeted by 1.2% to $12.86 in New York and its stock plummeted by 25% this fiscal year.
As far as online poker legalization and regulation is concerned, the US has a lot to learn from Europe. Right now, the US is far from legalizing its online poker industry at the federal level; instead, it is encouraging state wise legalization and regulation of online poker, which experts feel will not be feasible in the long run. The best option for the US is to create proper poker laws at the federal level.
Last year, Nevada emerged as the first US state to create a regulatory framework for online gambling. Around 24 companies have applied for licenses to run online poker gaming businesses in Nevada. Some of these applicants are prominent US gambling companies such as MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. Poker players in Nevada can expect to play their favorite games of poker for real money in a legalized and regulated atmosphere soon.
Last year, the total online gaming revenue generated throughout the world touched the €24.6 billion mark. H2 Gambling Capital, a gambling research company, said that Germany, Japan, and the UK generated the largest online gaming revenue.

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