Gaming operator 888 has finalized its joint venture agreement with investment group Avenue Capital Group to form the Delaware-incorporated company, All American Poker Network. The newly formed network will offer the 888 gaming platform and brand in the United States.
888 Incorporated has been actively forming partnerships over the past couple months in anticipation of the US regulated market. The gaming operator has an agreement with Caesar’s Interactive Entertainment to provide WSOP brand website in Nevada. 888 has agreed to provide the platform and technology to launch a poker site under the WSOP name. Also, the operator has a similar deal with WMS gaming to offer other real money gambling products. However, this agreement was made in anticipation of a federal bill for online gambling.
Recently, 888 has entered into an accord with Treasure Island to create the first online poker skin for the All American Poker Network. Under the agreement, 888 will be able to launch an online poker site in Nevada through the use of Treasure Island’s gaming license. The operator will be allowed to provide its own brand and software through this agreement. Treasure Island plans to collect 5% of future US profits under this deal in return for use of the gaming license. The launch of this new skin will be contingent upon the expected final approval from Nevada Gaming Commission.
The recent legislation and business developments signal the beginning of the regulated US online poker market. Several operators such as Poker Stars are seeking the same type of business ventures. The first online poker sites are expected to launch before the end of the year and states such as Illinois and California are considering legislation. Although liquidity and revenue issues remain, the legislated states are considering compacts with other states as well as international partners.