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Lightning Poker officially signs with Shuffle Master

30 January 2007

Casino industry giant Shuffle Master agreed last week to distribute Lightning Poker's e-tables.



The tables are a cross between online gaming and live poker play. Players sit around a table, but look at their cards and chip stacks on a video screen. Hands and bets are made electronically -- eliminating the need for a dealer.



ShuffleMaster, which distributes almost every type of casino utility product including automated card-shufflers, chip sorters and electronic table games, gives Lightning Poker a global platform for promoting their automated poker tables.



"We couldn't have found a better partner than Shuffle Master," stated Lightning Poker CEO Brian Haveson. "The service excellence and distribution channels that Shuffle Master brings Lightning Poker, provides us with worldwide product support capabilities and sales contacts that will elevate our business to the next level."



Lighting Poker plans to install their e-poker gaming systems in at least two California casinos and two Canadian casinos sometime this spring, President Ron Skotarczak said.



The company officially entered the e-poker Market in November by installing their first machines at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.



At the time, Lightning Poker had a memorandum of understanding for distribution with Shuffle Master, but last week's deal makes their partnership official.



Skotarczak said his company will now hand over all promoting, marketing, distributing and servicing duties to Shuffle Master.



"We are pleased to offer the Lightning Poker electronic poker table as one of our electronic content delivery systems," said Paul C. Meyer, Shuffle Master president and chief operating officer in a statement. "The consistent popularity of poker makes automated poker tables a natural technological progression. We are confident that the Lightning Poker platform, especially when offering our proprietary content, will be an important enhancement to casinos worldwide."



The agreement may turn the e-poker table industry battle into a war.



Only two companies, Lightning Poker and PokerTek, have licensed tables available for distribution in North America. And the two have been battling it out in the courtroom and in the marketplace.



Lightning Poker filed a suit against Pokertek last fall, alleging PokerTek violated antitrust laws and engaged in various acts of unfair competition, civil conspiracy, trade slander and defamation, including falsely advising Lightning Poker's customers that Lightning Poker's products infringed PokerTek patents.



The suit was dropped shortly after Pokertek released an official statement saying that their patent was not violated.



PokerTek established itself as the young market's leader last year, signing installation agreements with Carnival Cruise Lines, the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, Calif., the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla. and the Osage National Million Dollar Elm Casino in Tulsa, Okla.



"Our success in the market and the success of our customers speak for itself," said PokerTek Vice President of Sales and Marketing Chris Halligan when asked about Lightning Poker's new agreement. "We feel that anything that helps the automated poker market grow is good for PokerTek."



Pokertek has a distribution agreement with Aristocrat Gaming -- a deal which provides them with access to Aristocrat's network of 55 gaming countries, but Pokertek retained their distribution rights in America.











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Lightning Poker officially signs with Shuffle Master is republished from CasinoVendors.com.
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Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.