Casino games? Really?

Full Tilt Poker is moving into the casino business with the launch of their new blackjack and roulette software. The new games are being integrated into the existing Full Tilt poker client and are Rational Group’s first foray into the casino gaming world.

Though players first noticed the new game updates this week, industry watchers had known of Full Tilt’s casino dreams since last summer. In a statement on, Rational Group’s Head of Corporate Communications, Eric Hollreiser laid out its plans for casino gaming:

This week we began testing single and multiplayer play-money versions of Blackjack and Roulette in select markets. Following the test period we will provide real money offerings in current and additional test markets.

So what’s behind Rational’s new found interest in life outside the poker world? Chances are the new software was put in place to help the company get ready to compete in the newly opened US market.

Both New Jersey and Delaware are offering their citizens a full suite of online casino games and it’s likely that other states will follow suit. (Now whether or not Full Tilt will be welcomed in any of those markets is another story entirely.)

It’s also entirely possible that Rational is simply looking to diversify its gaming portfolio as a hedge against the volatile worldwide poker market. In Europe in particular, new online poker markets haven’t quite lived up to expectations.

As it’s still in the testing phase, it’s tough to know what the future holds for Full Tilt’s casino gaming suite.

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