(REUTERS) -- Playtech, the world's biggest provider of online gaming software, is holding talks with a number of potential partners in the U.S. as it gears up for the possible re-opening of the potentially lucrative market, CEO Mor Weizer said.

The United States Justice Department said in December that only betting on sporting contests is unlawful, clearing the way for other types of internet gambling such as poker and casino games to be legalized.

We have lots of potential customers that approached us or that we approached that would like to have us as their suppliers of online gaming products when the market opens up, Weizer told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

There is a lot of work being done behind the scenes in various states by various local authorities. We have people on the ground now in the U.S. working with us in order to monitor all these processes, Weizer added.

Online gaming was effectively outlawed in the U.S. by legislation passed in 2005. Weizer said it was too early to say if those laws will be overturned in the current year.

Playtech said it was seeing increasing opportunities as gambling laws are relaxed across the world and was confident of meeting full-year expectations.

The company also announced joint ventures with German gaming machine business Merkur and South African gaming and hospitality business Peermont as well as the 11 million pound ($17.2 million) acquisition of sportsbook and lottery software firm Geneity.

($1 = 0.6412 British pounds)