‘Betting’ On Legalization: Yahoo! Launches Texas-Holdem Poker Portal – Forbes

In a bold move that seems to get ahead of the curve for legalized poker, the online search engine Yahoo has launched a Texas Hold’em portal on its website. Yahoo is currently advertising its Texas Hold’em poker game directly on its fantasy football webpage — seemingly under the impression that there is a strong overlap between fantasy sports and poker players.

It is not surprising that Yahoo would launch a Texas Hold’em portal based on the growing interest in online poker, especially among the young-adult male demographic. Nevertheless, for now, Yahoo’s Texas Hold’em contest does not pay any prizes to the winners beyond free chips to use for gaming.

By not assigning any value to its chips beyond the opportunity to continue playing inits online casino, the Yahoo’s Texas Hold’em game most likely avoids the legal element of “reward.” By doing so, the Texas Hold’em portal seems to comply with most state and federal laws, even presuming Texas Hold’em is declared to be a game of chance.

At the same time, the new Yahoo Texas Hold’em portal could be easily monetized if the legal environment were to become more favorable.

Thus, by launching this portal now, Yahoo becomes well positioned to enter the pay-to-win online poker market should states ultimately deem Texas Hold’em to be a legal game of skill. 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.

In some ways, it is not surprising to see Yahoo move further in the direction of online gaming, as Yahoo has already built a strong following through monetizing its fantasy football and fantasy basketball games. In addition,Yahoo has mastered the art …read more

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