Is Yahoo! gearing up to enter the legal poker market?

Many casinos in New Jersey are getting nervous about PokerStars potentially re-entering the legal poker market due to their superior product and cachet in the poker world. But they might have a new player to fear.

It looks like Yahoo! is getting ready to enter the legal poker market. Yup, the same Yahoo! that you use to search for things online (OK, you probably use Google, but many people use Yahoo! and they could very well be an interesting player).

inneryahoo04112014We all know that search engines make a ridiculous amount of money. Yahoo! had about $4.6 billion in revenue in 2013. And $1.3 billion of that was pure profit. That dwarfs what PokerStars made, which means Yahoo! could very well put a bunch of money into creating a superior poker product and it would barely put a dent in profits.

Right now, you can only play Yahoo! poker for free. But over the past few weeks, they’ve started to advertise their product a lot more on their fantasy football pages. They’ve successfully monetized the fantasy sports concept, so entering the legal market could be the next logical step in their online gambling revolution.

It would be interesting to see how Yahoo! ‘s entrance into the market would change the search engine game. Poker sites rank in search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing by having the right combination of content and links. But if Y Yahoo!! is in the game, could they theoretically just flip a switch and make sure their content always ranks at the top?

While that might be anti-competitive, it could give Yahoo! a leg up on the competition, at least in terms of attracting those who are searching for online poker sites through search engines.

I’m not sure if Yahoo! is planning on entering the poker world in its current state-by-state legislation system. I think Yahoo! wouldn’t go all in unless there was a big federal solution, or unless a big state like Californian legalized poker.

But who knows. I didn’t think the US government would shut down PokerStars and like they did back in April 2011, so anything can happen.


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