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Online Casino News - February, 2008

Online Mahjong Software Acquired by World Mahjong Tour

by Edward Rogers, News Staff Writer

February 15, 2007

As the rise of mahjong continues strong, reaching further into both the online gambling industry and that of the Western world, companies with gaming interests are making moves to ensure the continued expansion and survival of this blossoming sector. Take for instance, World Mahjong Tour Inc. (fitting name, eh?), who just took over the Chinese online gambling software firm, 945i.com.

Unfamiliar to English ears, 945i is based in Chengdu, China, and is approximately only three years old. Having already developed a suite of traditional Chinese games into an online software platform, including Sichuan and Chinese Mahjong, Chinese Chess, Junqi, Traktor Poker and more, 945i certainly has come a long way in just three short years.

While the Western World has grown more warm to online mahjong, the Asian market is still the primary force behind its demand. Knowing this will not likely change, it appears that World Mahjong Tour will be marketing the games in China. World Mahjong Tour founders, David Wang and Pierre Wuu made it clear they intend to capitalize on the "fastest growing gaming market in the world", and that they intend to do so with its own branded websites.

Being a software provider, this will ultimately consist of licensing deals with direct service operators, which is the same type of relationship that online casinos have with casino software developers. In other words, this position will give a great amount of responsibility to World Mahjong Tour in how the Asian online gaming industry is shaped. Just like pioneering online casino software developers Microgaming and Cryptologic continue to lead the way in online gambling innovations and protocols, WMT will have great influence in the same respect.

The acquisition will allow WMT to immediately begin offering both play-money and real-money online gambling. However, knowing all too well that in order to stay at the top WMT will need to continue developing new technologies, they have hired 945i's founder, Garret Lin as their new Director of Technology.

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