enting, which owns UK casino chain Stanley Leisure, is set to flick the switch the new CircusCasino.com site on Friday the source said. Its entrance will be seen as a vote of confidence for the online industry still picking up the pieces after Internet betting was effectively outlawed in the US in September 2006.
The source said the us$ 17 billion Malaysian firm is also keen to use the new site as a testing ground for potential launches in Asia where a number countries are in the process of reviewing online gambling rules. "This is obviously a good opportunity in its own right, but it allows you to play around and trial a lot of things to prepare you if Asia opens up," he said.
Before being bought by Genting in 2006, Stanley failed with a number costly attempts to build its own Internet betting site. This time the firm has opted to buy the poker, roulette and casino software from London listed Playtech. Genting will launch the new site at its Beach Club casino in London’s Mayfair on Thursday.
While competition for players in the online casino market is becoming increasingly cut throat, Genting has the advantage of being able to tap into its database of members that play at its real world casinos.
Major online poker firm’s like PartyGaming, Bwin and 888.com have all struggled to keep up with sites like PokerStars that still take bets from U.S. players and therefore have bigger prize pots.