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Kevin Smith

Swedish Group Introduces Java-Based Texas Hold'em

5 February 2001

A Swedish software developing firm is looking to carve itself a niche in the online gambling business by offering the world’s first real-money Java-based Texas Hold’em poker game.

To reach that end, the company, OnGame, has partnered with Net Entertainment in an agreement that places OnGame's new Java-based games at and other Net Entertainment online casinos.

The switch to real-money gambling comes after nearly a year's worth of tweaking and then beta testing through OnGame's free-play site at

It was during this testing period that OnGame realized what kind of potential the game has. "We had over 40,000 registered users and at any one given time we would have 100 people playing the game," CEO Claes Lydell explained. "At peak times that number would go to 250."

OnGame now faces the challenge of converting its free-play customers to real-money players.

As for the success of Cherry Casino, which started real-money play in January, Lydell says it's too early to tell. "We haven’t had a real response yet from the real money site, but we won’t start promoting a great deal until later this month," he said.

Nevertheless, he's happy with the initial results. "After only a couple of weeks, we were able to get a table full of players for our game," he said. "Cherry Casino has made an effort to improve its poker game options, and our game was a natural fit for them."

Lydell also says that OnGame will stick to the developmental side of the business. Referring to the company's relationship with Net Entertainment, he explained, "They still offer all the games they develop. They did all the other software and the back-end. But, the Texas Hold’em and Fold’em game was something that we have the patent on."

The adaptation of the software to real-money play was done through a joint venture between the two companies. The two companies entered into the partnership in September 2000. Lydell says most of the time since then has been spent integrating their software systems.

Cherry Casino currently offers traditional casino games like keno, blackjack and slots, but Lydell says that may be changing in the future.

"A lot of time was spent on converting Cherry Casino to an online casino," he said. "Converting it to more of an online poker room will be the next step. That may happen later this month."

To help the conversion process, Lydell and his company have been working on upgrading their software. "We are already working on the next version, and I have the version after that already in my head," he said. "We will have better graphics and a better game launched in the future."

Being a part of Cherry Casino's growth isn’t the only thing on the horizon for OnGame. The company plans to go public, although Lydell says they'll wait until the business and the economy are headed in the right direction.

"We are focusing on making the company as profitable as possible right now," he said. "(Going Public) has been put off for a while with the recent developments on Wall Street. It is something that we will explore continually, but we are now focused very hard on working on the software for the sites."

Still, OnGame will continue to monitor and explore this option. "We want to be traded on some stock exchange in the future," Lydell eplained. "That may come up again in the summer."

In the meantime, the company has plenty of projects to keep it busy.

"The work with Cherry Casino has just begun," said Lydell. "Net Entertainment is the only licensee testing the waters with our software, but we are busy promoting the site and working on the next versions of our games."

Swedish Group Introduces Java-Based Texas Hold'em is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith