In time before Black Friday, online poker affiliates practically had a license to print money. Between the hordes of new players and a live-and-let-live attitude from the Department of Justice, life was pretty sweet.

Of course all that changed a couple years ago when a combination of robust law enforcement and industry consolidation forced a large number of affiliates to chase after a shrinking pool of available players. If you’re in still in the poker hunt, here are a few things you can expect to encounter in the second half of 2013.

The Americans are Coming…

Nevada online poker is already a reality and New Jersey plans to have sites operational some time this fall.

Though Nevada’s tiny population (3,000,00 total) doesn’t offer much in the way of players, its commitment to chasing after interstate gaming agreements makes it an opportunity worth pursuing today.

New Jersey doesn’t have Nevada’s brand name cache – yet – but with a population of 8.9 million offers a lot more opportunities (and they’re pretty serious about interstate action, too).

No matter where you focus, the US is worth a look in H2 2013. Though you might not see a return-on-investment for a while, a ground floor investment today could pay off in the long run.

European Upheaval

European governments are slowly giving up their stranglehold on gambling markets, but the results haven’t been quite as rosy as predicted.

After months of pain and misery, the once-vaunted Spanish poker market hasn’t really delivered the goods. Similar (though not nearly so dramatic) stories are playing out across the Continent in places like Germany, France and Italy.

If you’re promoting Euro-poker, strap on your seat belt and prepare for a wild ride.

Corporate Competition

One of the biggest x-factors in the US poker market is the question of big corporate gaming interests. Companies like Caesars and MGM are going all in online gambling and bringing their considerable marketing acumen with them.

Poker affiliates who are hoping to cash in on American players had better be prepared to play ball with the corporate boys this fall.

Consolidation Watch

To say that poker markets are in a state of transformation is a bit of an understatement. Almost every week we’re seeing poker companies shifting from network to network; skin to skin in search of more liquidity.

If staying sane is on your to-do-list in waning months of 2013, roll with the punches and expect change to be more common than stability.

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