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Bradley Vallerius

Bradley  Vallerius
Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world. Bradley can be reached through his website www.FortheBettorGood.com.

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Gambling sites will change software to stay in U.S. market

20 Oct 2006

By Bradley Vallerius
Several online gambling sites will have to change the software platforms that power their games if they wish to continue taking bets from Americans.

In the wake of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, publicly-held gaming software development companies like Playtech, CryptoLogic, Ongame and Boss Media have announced that their software platforms can no longer be used to provide gambling services to people located in the U.S.

But some privately-owned gambling site operators such as GoldenPalace.com, FullContactPoker.com and SportsInteraction.com have a prominent US presence and may be betting that the U.S. prohibition will prove unenforceable.

FullContactPoker has already announced its intent to leave the Ongame poker network and switch to another software provider that would allow it to take U.S. play.

"FullContactPoker could potentially end up with fantastic software that is even better than the Ongame software," said professional poker player Daniel Negreanu, who endorses the site. "There is also the possibility that it would be a little slower, and then there would be a process of building new software that is even better."

David Szetela, a spokesperson for privately-owned software developer CyberArts, thinks a lot of private operators will migrate from one software provider to another in the coming months. "Our platform is such that we can get operators back up and running very quickly," he said. "We can make a site that looks and acts exactly the same as it did on the Ongame Network. We can duplicate an existing skin pixel for pixel."

Negreanu could not say which software companies FullContactPoker is in discussions with, but he did say a quick transition could take place as early as next month.

"FullContactPoker's main concern at this point is downtime," he said. "Ideally there would be virtually no downtime. It would be like one of those maintenance upgrades where it takes a few hours overnight and then when you wake up the next day you open up the program and you've got new software."

Negreanu also speculates that a lot of the poker sites that are being shut out from their software providers could end up aggregating their players into a common shared network.

"You're definitely going to see a lot of the skins bouncing around," he added, "but what could end up happening-- and it will likely happen-- is a new network will be born with some different software because that's probably the easiest as far as transferring funds over."

Not all sites will have to switch software platforms in order to continue servicing U.S. players though. Many, such as Bodog.com and PokerStars.com, use proprietary software.

 
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