Gaming giants like Caesars Entertainment, Amaya Gaming, and 888 Holdings may have some competition in the near future in the form of online search-engine giant Yahoo, which recently launched a Texas hold’em portal. According to Marc Edelman of Forbes, the site could be positioning itself for the online poker market as it opens up on a state-by-state basis.
“The new Yahoo Texas hold’em portal could be easily monetized if the legal environment were to become more favorable,” writes Edelman, an Associate Professor of Law at the City University of New York’s Baruch College. “Yahoo also could apply for licenses to operate their online casino with cash prizes in the limited number of states that have already legalized online casino gaming, such as Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada.”
According to the article, Yahoo has utilized their fantasy football webpages to advertise their new poker game, which is free to play and does not offer prizes. Yahoo has already successfully monetized their fantasy football and basketball offerings.
A dedicated thread on TwoPlusTwo indicates that many in the poker community are excited by the news.
“Amaya needs a real competitor to keep them in line," wrote user ‘Stoop Kid.’ "I don't care if its Zynga, Yahoo, or Google. You can be sure these Internet monsters have the capital/reach to successfully market a new poker site. Obviously not going to happen overnight, but it would be nice to see a big competitor enter the market.”
Likewise, 'iPlayPLOhigh' echoed those sentiments: “[Yahoo] currently have fantasy sports you can play for money. There is no way to really know what their plan is for poker, but if it were to become legal they would have a huge advantage over most other companies in the market with their database of users and the money they could spend to build or buy good software.”
For more information, check out 'Betting' On Legalization: Yahoo! Launches Texas-Hold’em Poker Portal on forbes.com.