GTECH G2 Launches Canadian Poker Network

While the debate over the legalization of online poker in the U.S. rages on with no end in sight, a near neighbor just launched the first regulated poker network in North America. We’re talking of course about Canada and its new Canadian Poker Network. Loto-Quebec in conjunction with gaming software designer GTECH G2 officially announced the launch of the CPN via press release earlier today.

If you’re a player that’s especially on the ball when it comes to industry news, then you may already know that the Canadian Poker Network started accepting its first members back in November and opened up cash action on December 1. Why the wait to break the big news? Now that CPN has been fully tested and all aspects of the site are up and running, Loto-Quebec is clearly hoping to stir up some more serious traffic.

If you’re looking for, then you’re looking in the wrong place. The network was launched not as a standalone site but as an extension of Loto-Quebec’s already established Espacejeux casino. While GTECH G2’s poker platform is already being used at several European poker sites, the Canadian Poker Network is currently only accessible to residents of Quebec, Canada. While players will need both a physical address and an IP address based in Quebec to get logged in, curious parties can still download the new site’s software and watch the CPN’s handful of first players go at it for fun and for money.

The CPN is currently offering eight different poker variants in both ring game and tournament formats: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7-Card Stud, 5-Card Stud, Five Card Draw, Five Card Draw 7-A and Canadian Stud. The site also already has a nice tournament schedule in place and a bad beat jackpot that’s already well over $100,000 offering existing Quebec poker players plenty of incentive to try CPN.

While some have said that the CPN could soon have some American competition, pending the passage of Reid’s bill, it seems pretty unlikely. After all, the 15-month blackout would give the fledgling poker network plenty of time to build a player base. Even if New Jersey passes its online gambling legislation later this winter, their new laws would similarly limit their membership to players based in the state. About the only serious threat that CPN faces is from other potential operators in Canada, or from the tribal operators currently trying to get online licensing in California.

Related Entries