French gaming operator Winamax has announced that they will be launching a Facebook application this week and a free-money poker site in the near future. CEO Canel Frichet told eGamingReview that the Facebook application will use the same software as the free-play site and believes that it is one of the first high quality poker offerings on Facebook. The launch of the Facebook application and the free-money poker site will provide a basic foundation for the future regulation of online poker in the US. Given its success in a tough regulatory environment, the French gaming company is prepared to become a prominent operator in the regulated US market.
“The fiscal and regulatory structure is so complex in France that we feel that we know how to navigate any American model, either interstate or federal”, stated Frichet.
Winamax is also currently looking to partner with a traditional Brick and Mortar Casino following the pairing of several major land based gaming corporations and online gaming companies. The free-money poker site will mark the first time that the French gaming company has ventured outside the French market and will provide a basic foundation for entering the potentially lucrative US market.
News of these developments comes after Winimax learned of its fate in the Belgian market. The Belgian Gaming Commission added 10 operators to its egaming blacklist, including the French poker site, Golden Palace and OranjeCasino. The blacklist, which lists a total of 20 sites, includes high profile sites such as 888, Everest Poker, and Titan Poker. Operators such as Bwin.Party have applied for licensing in Belgium after being threatened with the blacklist.
Despite the news from Belgium, Winamax continues to make strides towards expanding its company to markets outside of France. Earlier this year in January, winamax.fr overtook pokerstars.fr as the leading poker operator in the French market for cash games, according to PokerScout. Frichet believes that her company is well equipped to expand and adapt to the difficult regulatory environment in Europe and the US. She states, “Our independence is what allows us to be highly reactive, a necessity for any internet company”