This goes in the ‘just a rumour’ category at the moment, but I heard this morning that Noble Poker has been acquired by Empire slot online. Empire is primarily a super affiliatae of Party Poker, so I’m not exactly sure what they’re going to do with Noble (if the rumour is even true), since Noble is on another network and software. But I can almost guarantee one thing: you’re going to see a trememndous amount of consolidation and acquisitions in the online poker industry over the next few months.

There are a few possibilities in this particular acquisition. Noble could be getting a new platform. Another possibility is that Empire could be getting a new platform. A third possibility is that Noble and Empire could both be going on a brand new platform. In any case, the combination of the Noble player base and the Empire player base is going to make Empire a big player indeed.

Ultimate Bet IPO in London

More rumors from the online poker industry. Looks like the success of the Party Gaming IPO has inspired the owners of Ultimate Bet to go public also. Excapsa is the name of the company that owns and manages Ultimate Bet, which is well known for its stable of poker pro’s who endorse the site. (These pros include Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke, among others.) They’re expecting the company to have a market cap of around $350 million or so.

Some Gambling Facts & Figures

Native Times has an article about the rise of legal gambling in the USA and its relationship to American Indians. I’m more interested in the facts and figures about the industry than I am about the sociological implications for a group of people, so I’m going to post those here. If you’re interested in reading the article, hop on over there through the link provided.

There are 247 Indian owned casinos in the USA now.

There are 84 riverboat casinosĀ  in the USA now.

There is some kind of legalized gambling available in 48 states now.

In 1996, the USA gambling industry took in $47 million.

In 2003, the USA gambling industry took in $72 million.

These numbers do not reflect the amount of money going into the online gambling industry, since those numbers are presumably not tracked. (In fact, one of the advantages to legalizing and regulating online gambling here in the USA would be the additional information that would become available. Tax revenue is not the only selling point for regulation.)