Online gambling group 888 has set up a joint venture with the $12 billion (£8 billion) Avenue Capital investment group to launch online gambling in the United States.
The venture, called the All American Poker Network, will launch 888 gambling sites as and when individual states or federal law changes make this possible.
The backing of Avenue Capital, the amount of which has not been disclosed, means that 888 will be able to move rapidly into the huge consumer gambling market when it is given the green light.
Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have recently legalised online gambling and other states are racing to do so.
However, they could be eclipsed by plans for federal legislation, which would cover the whole country.
888 also announced today that it will launch online poker in Nevada under the Treasure Island hotel and casino brand, one of the biggest outfits in Las Vegas.