For U.S. online poker players that remember the days when PartyPoker was the biggest online poker site, there may be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Party Gaming released its Q1 report last week showing gains in revenue of 27% and Chief Executive Jim Ryan said of the U.S. market,
“We are seeing increased momentum towards regulating online poker. It’s possible that it could happen this year and we’re prepared if it does.”
Party Gaming which dominated the U.S. online poker market with PartyPoker left the U.S. in 2006 when the UIGEA was passed. Since that time it has added PartyCasino. The company says it is very encouraged by congressmen Barney Frank and Jim McDermott’s efforts to pass a bill that regulates online gambling instead of banning it.
Ryan also went on to say it was in talks with possible business to business deals with U.S. operators already and had set up an operation in Los Angeles including having staff members in place. According to Jim Ryan,
“We’ve got any number of U.S. operators who we’re talking to right now about providing them with online gaming services and software. That gives us good reason to think that regulation isn’t that far way.”
Though there was a lot of speculation in 2006 over PartyPoker and the passing of the UIGEA, PartyPoker was never found guilty of any wrong doing and was eventually totally cleared for its previous operation in the U.S.
Leaving the U.S. market crippled the online gambling industry as a whole but a continued effort has it standing strongly on its own again. Change in the U.S. may finally be on its way, close enough it seems that PartyGaming is at least betting on it again.