August 13, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — Online poker software developer Playtech plc has launched its first Italian online poker room for Sindacato Nazionale Agenzie Ippiche (SNAI group), an Italian-based holding company that provides gaming and betting services via betting shops and the Internet.
Maurizio Ughi, chairman of SNAI, said: "Having chosen Playtech's portfolio, we are able to offer our customers two poker games, Texas Hold 'Em and Omaha. Our aim is to be the leading player in the Italian market for skill games, as we are for horse racing and sports betting."
The launch of the poker room on the website marks the start of Playtech's Italian poker network, with state-licensed SNAI joining other state-operated poker operations in Sweden (Svenske Spel) and Austria (Casinos Austria) in the online poker market sector. At present only tournament play is permitted in play-for-free format with real money action planned for later in the year.
SNAI has also signed up with the UK skill gaming network provider GameAccount for the introduction of solitaire, multi-player blackjack, gin rummy, backgammon and poker dice games to its online offering.
GameAccount's marketing chief Dermot Smurf says that prospects in the country are good, and the SNAI deal has excited interest from many other Italian-licensed operators. "Our partnership with SNAI will bring our existing skill-based games to the Italian market and in due course they will be joined by bespoke games developed to meet the particular cultural appetites of Italians," he said.
For GameAccount, the SNAI deal represents its first Italian multi-year agreement that will see wide exposure for its suite of online skill games. 
"We are delighted to partner with SNAI as the founding member of the Italian Skill Games Network and hope other Italian gaming operators will join them in maximising revenues through shared Italians-only player liquidity,” Kevin Dale, GameAccount chief executive, said.
SNAI's director of communications, Lorenzo Stoppini, said: "GameAccount’s games broaden the demographic appeal of our online sports betting portal and provide proven unique marketing opportunities in Italy’s new regulated market for skill-based gaming."

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