International Game Technology (IGT,) the world’s biggest slot-machine maker decided to shut down its poker operation in Europe. The US firm advised online poker providers to switch to an alternative network by December 11th, British gambling news report.
The shutdown happens only one year after IGT acquired the Entraction Poker Network for $115 million along with its 4 million players.
IGT blames tougher rules adopted, or likely to be adopted by several European regulations, including British gambling laws only allow poker players to gamble with other players in the same nation.
Chief Executive Officer Patti Hart explained: „Europe’s online poker business has shifted from dot-com to dot-country. There is now less profitability, and the product becomes less interesting.”
The company will still provide other online gaming services to Europe, such as virtual slot machines, bingo and internet betting in United Kingdom as well as several other European countries.
A few months ago IGT received an interactive gaming license from the Nevada Gaming Commission, a sign of the company’s interest in operation in the USA. A company statement explained: “IGT’s decision was purely focused on our European dotcom business and does not impact future decisions regarding entry into new markets.”
The US gambling device manufacturer firm now intends to use its Entraction technology platform in conjunction with its Nevada online poker systems.
IGT warned of potential troubles ahead due to the similarities between the proposed US single state online poker regulation and that of Europe, commenting: “It’s much more challenged when it’s a single state..[which will now] have to look at their own economics.”
International Game Technology’s shares started to 1.2% to $12.86, giving it a market capitalization of $3.43 billion after the announcement. Shares of IGT are now 25% from its year week peak of $18.17.