Softec Systems Caribbean Inc., a subsidiary of Delaware-based Starnet Communications International Inc., has launched a Chinese-language online casino.
Joyluck will target Chinese users in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and other overseas Chinese communities.
According to Starnet, visitors to the site can play Java versions of Blackjack, Slots, Video Poker, and Caribbean Stud, or download casino software which includes Pai Gow Poker and 21 other machine and table games.
“The completion of a Chinese casino is a significant step within our strategy of penetrating established niche world markets,” said Bret Conkin, Starnet’s vice presidentof marketing.
“The fact that the site was designed and translated by a Shanghai native gives Joyluck a cultural appeal we feel is superior to any competitor currently in the Asian market,” added Conkin.
Casino operator World Gaming holds a permit in its domicile of Antigua to operate its own Internet gaming system.
Industry pundits indicate that the Asian market has huge potential for online gaming.
Computer Economics Inc. projects that by 2005, China will have the second largest population of Internet users, (37.3 million) next to the United States.
For 9 months up to January 1999, Starnet’s sales rose from US$2.2 million to US$6 million, and its net income totaled $1.2 million next to a loss of $897,000.