Winamax Eyes U.S. Online Poker Market


Posted by on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Winamax, which recently overtook PokerStars as the top dog in the French online poker market, has announced plans to launch a free-play Internet poker site in the United States in anticipation of legislation that will eventually permit real-money online poker in the U.S.

Winamax company executives believe that their experience in successfully operating the industry’s leading poker site in a difficult French market will carry over well into providing online poker services to a newly regulated American marketplace.

“The fiscal and regulatory structure is so complex in France that we feel that we would know how to navigate any American model, either interstate or federal,” Canel Frichet, Winamax’ CEO, recently told eGaming Review.

Frichet also said that Winamax is looking to enter into partnership agreements with land-based casino companies in the U.S. to further the company’s goal of establishing a presence in what is expected to eventually be a burgeoning U.S. online poker marketplace when regulations are in place.

In addition to launching the free-play site targeting U.S. players, Winamax also plans to take advantage of its unique proprietary software that permits quick responses to any new developments that occur in the marketplace by also launching a Facebook application.

“Our independence is what allows us to be highly reactive, a necessity for any internet company,” Frichet explained. “We develop everything in-house. A Facebook application will launch next week, using the same poker network [as the free-play site], and this will be the first time such a high quality network will be made available on Facebook.”

The free-play site and Facebook application will be the first foray of Winamax’ online poker offerings outside of France. The company was founded in 1999 and is based in the United Kingdom. In addition to online poker, Winamax offers sports wagering to European punters, focusing primarily on residents of France. The sportsbook accepts the typical wagers on tennis, football, basketball and Formula 1 races. However, the company has also developed a reputation for featuring “special bet” wagers, such as on reality TV shows and box office results at the cinema.


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