When PokerStars took control of Full Tilt Poker as part of their Black Friday settlement, one of the major questions was how the Rational Group would differentiate between the two brands. That problem appears to be resolving itself, as Full Tilt Poker has just entered into an agreement that will see the site gain access to a wide range of casino games.
The partnership, announced Friday, was made between Full Tilt and Net Entertainment AB. Net Entertainment has a collection of over 150 casino games, which they provide to major gambling brands like Ladbrokes, SportingBet and bet365.
This move will allow Full Tilt to expand on a move that was first made in January. That’s when the site started offering poker players roulette and blackjack games that were fully integrated into the online poker client. The rollout of the real money casino games was staggered, eventually becoming available to all players who accessed the site. Full Tilt first announced that it was planning to add casino games in July 2013.
Since then, Rational Group has looked to rapidly and aggressively expand the potential betting options at Full Tilt. Earlier this year, they announced a partnership with Leander Games that will provide slot machine style games under the Full Tilt brand. In addition, Rational has said that they are looking to enter the “global sports betting market,” and Full Tilt would seem to be a natural brand to house that effort.
The move with Net Entertainment should make it easier for Full Tilt to integrate a wide variety of casino games, but it may also be a window into expanding the brand’s mobile presence. At the moment, Rush Poker is the only Full Tilt product available on mobile devices.
“Net Entertainment has some of the best games in the industry and will deliver a lot of value to our business, not least on the mobile platform,” said Rational Group director of casino Sam Hobcraft. “We look forward to working with NetEnt to develop a truly innovative gaming experience for our customers.”
Meanwhile, the deal also gives Net Entertainment a way to establish a presence in the world of online poker.
“Rational Group runs the largest online poker operation globally and we are very proud and excited about this partnership, which will allow us to be a first mover within their new casino channel venture,” said BjÃ¶rn Krantz, Chief of GMO and MD, Net Entertainment. “Together with Rational Group, our games portfolio will reach a completely new player base, and we are confident that our games will be well received.”
These moves have opened up a wide range of possibilities for the Full Tilt brand, though it remains to be seen just how many products are offered directly through the poker client. By contrast, PokerStars has remained a poker-only brand for Rational, and there have been no suggestions that this is likely to change in the near future.
Full Tilt Poker currently ranks fifth in PokerScout’s online poker traffic report, part of a tightly-grouped “second tier” of sites that average around 2,000 cash games players at any given time. These sites all trail far behind PokerStars, which averages just over 20,000 players.