Deepstack Casino platform is adapted version of software developed for DC Lottery before supplier contract was pulled in 2011
Intralot has launched a US-facing freeplay casino site for the first time as it moves to expand its online portfolio beyond lottery products.
Deepstack Casino has been in development for a number of years, having been created using the platform Intralot intended to provide to the DC Lottery as part of a proposed five-year lottery and gaming management contract which was cancelled in 2011.
Intralot US will use the site, which features a wide range of poker, video poker, blackjack, bingo and skill games, primarily as a proprietary B2C product, creating an additional revenue stream through the sale of virtual poker chips.
However the lottery supplier told eGN NA it intends to offer the platform as a B2B white label offering to clients in the future, including as a real-money site to operators within regulated US jurisdictions over time.
“If the real-money market opens up, we anticipate entering that market as long as it makes sense for Intralot to do so,” said Lee Wilson, senior project manager, igaming, who added that the site gives Intralot “invaluable experience” in running a US-facing operation.
“We have designed Deepstackcasino.net to look and feel like a real-money gambling site. There is a full loyalty programme behind it which can be linked to lottery’s retail operations,” he said.
Upgrades to the hardware platform are ongoing in order to accommodate greater player numbers, and new games will be added on a monthly basis, Wilson added.
Intralot US is one of only a few major gaming suppliers yet to apply for an interactive gaming licence in Nevada, explaining that “the cost versus ROI for a Nevada licence doesn’t make sense at the moment”.
However as more states begin to regulate online gambling within their borders, lotteries are likely to expand beyond their core draw games into gaming products such as poker and casino. Delaware for example, where all gaming is managed by the state lottery, will soon appoint an egaming system and service provider after Governor Jack Markell approved a bill in June 2012 that legalised online gambling in the state.
In 2009 Greek-owned Intralot was approved to manage the DC Lottery’s online lottery and gaming platform in a five-year contract worth around US$40 million after the state became the first US jurisdiction to pass intrastate egaming regulation into law in April 2011.
The deal subsequently fell through after the DC Council voted to repeal an online gambling law in late 2011 amid concerns of wrongdoing – not concerning Intralot’s involvement – by government officials responsible for selecting the service provider.
Fellow lottery supplier Spielo G2 has already launched into the US freeplay market – through deals including with California tribe Barona Resort& Casino – a strategy seen as a means of attracting new players and promoting offline brands. In September last year the software provider signed a free-play deal with the Barona Resort and Casino, aimed at preparing the casino for future regulation in its home state of California.