Quickspin and PokerStars have reached a mutually beneficial agreement that will see the pair expand in Italy, with Quickspin delivering its gaming content to the country for the first time in its history.
Italy’s Gaming Heyday
Italy’s a testy jurisdiction for the iGaming business and poker alike. Come January 1, 2019, a new legislation will come into force, restricting any and all public advertisements promoting gambling and poker products, and it’s a measure that has long been in the making. This, however, doesn’t seem to scare companies in the slightest.
Quickspin, an established iGaming operator, has partnered up with The Stars Group’s PokerStars, the company’s popular card room, to help the company bring its products Italy. It’s not the first non-endemic partnership for PokerStars, too, as the focus of the deal will be casino games rather than poker.
PokerStars will help the Playtech-owned studio deliver a number of popular slots for Italian casinos, such as Sakura Fortune, Dragon Shine, Phoenix Sun, and gradually roll-out additional content in the months to follow. It’s worth noting other PokerStars’ partnerships with iGaming developers in the past as well.
We are delighted to have secured a deal with PokerStars. Going live with them is exciting for us and continues our exciting plans for expansion – Quickspin’s Daniel Lindberg
Quickspin’s chief executive Daniel Lindberg explained that his company had a distinct penchant for slot games and that the company’s mission was to create products that people would enjoy, talk about, and share. Ultimately, Mr. Lindberg hoped that Quickspin would make quite the splash in Italy, “storming the country with some of our most exciting games.”
PokerStars is now part of Quickspin’s large family, which features similar partnerships with Betsson, Mr. Green, LeoVegas, JackpotJoy’s Vera & John, Kindred Group, and Danske Spill for the time being.
From Card Rooms to Casinos
PokerStars has been assuming an innovative approach to running its card rooms, having obtained a casino license in Italy earlier this year, and brought out some exciting new products, including their take on virtual reality poker.
— PokerStars Twitch (@PSTwitch) November 29, 2018
The company holds Italy to be a vital market for the expansion of its poker operations as well. PokerStars is the only brand that uses shared-liquidity between three countries in Europe, to name Spain, France, and Portugal.
At the same time, Portugal has proven elusive for other companies, including the ones that are now using another Playtech project – the iPoker Network, which is the first B2B solution for poker on the continent. Playtech is now doing the exact same thing PokerStars is by pushing for a license in Italy, which will hopefully allow their clients to bring players from the country, as soon as Italian gamers become eligible to participate in shared-liquidity games.
Overall, the number of applications submitted to the Agenzia delle Dogane dei Monopoli, the country’s competition watchdog, has reached 80 in 2018. Despite the looming threat of a potentially business-destroying ban on gambling advertisement, companies still feel confident with launching their operations in Italy.
PokerStars is most likely developing its offer to complement its card room. As a high-profile brand, PokerStars will not suffer as much from a blanket ban on advertisement, The Stars Group estimates.
Sooner or later, interested poker and casino players all find their way there.