Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wynn and Caesars Online Poker Push

In a sign that the major brick and mortar casino operators in the US are making the move toward internet gambling, both Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment lock up deals with internet gaming companies. Wynn announced a partnership with PokerStars and Caesars received Nevada Gaming Commission approval of a relationship with subsidiaries of 888 Holdings.

There shouldn't be any doubt that the trend in the US is that in the not too distant future, internet poker will be legalized. From that point, only a few years will pass and I anticipate full internet gambling (with the exception of sports betting) will be legal. If New Jersey prevails in its lawsuit against the US Government over the constitutionality of PASPA, sports betting could also become legal. This won't happen overnight, but the big US players are getting ready.

The Wynn Resorts story can be found here and the Caesars Entertainment story can be found here.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Internet Gambling Bill Reintroduced In Congress

The blog at posted that Barney Frank has teamed up with a REPUBLICAN representative from California, John Campbell, to reintroduce the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. I'll give it to Barney for persistence, but the chance to get this bill through was last year, when Democrats controlled the House. With Republicans now in charge of the House power structure, this seems like a longshot.

It will be easy to predict that this bill goes nowhere and likely that will be the outcome. But not so fast. With the economy in horrible shape, and the federal budget in even worse shape, a strange thing may happen: economics will trump "morality." If Congress needs the cash, they'll grab at anything (usually they grab at our wallets - quite well I might add). Maybe they latch onto this as it might be easier to pass this initially than a tax hike. Congress likes raising taxes too but I digress...

A recent post highlighted some of the advantages of internet gambling. You can read that post here. Maybe you can get your Representative to read it and admit that internet gambling is here to stay, so why not regulate like the UK?

A very tough hurdle for the bill will be getting past the House Financial Services Committee, which has a staunch anti-internet gambling person now at the helm, Rep. Bachus. Will budget needs outweigh personal bias? Who knows?

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Internet Gaming Is Good For The Gambling Industry!

In the November, 2010 issue of Casino Enterprise Management, William Thompson extended his remarks made to the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States in June. He prefaced his hypothesis with the explanation of his gambling economic model and how the majority of his analyses show that gambling actually draws more money away from host communities.

With regard to internet gaming, his opinion is that "legal internet gaming will improve the value of the gambling product for the consumer, for the gaming operator and for the government." [1]

In sum, here are some of the generic reasons in favor of LEGAL internet gaming:
  1. Will stimulate business for brick-and-mortar casinos as the internet gaming can promote visits/patronage of the host brand (big brands such as Wynn, Caesar's, LV Sands likely to benefit most)
  2. Gives consumers more choice of internet gaming sites, games, odds and payouts
  3. Consumers in total control of gaming environment (smoking, dress code, alcohol). Want to gamble naked? You can on an internet gaming site (do turn off your webcam...)
  4. More visibility with regard to identification of consumer and level of play. Excellent for more control/amelioration of problem gaming.
  5. Easier for governments to precisely determine how much gambling is going on in their jurisdiction from each site, making any taxation determinations very accurate and precise.
The key is that when internet gaming is authorized and operators are allowed to obtain licenses, that the licensing regime needs to be as inclusive and non-judgmental as possible, to allow as many sites as possible to come clean and turn over a new leaf. If that happens, maximum benefit to the government will accrue. Otherwise, the operators shut out of the licensing regime may just continue to operate in "outlaw" status, with local governments gaining nothing.


[1] Thompson, W., (2010, November), Value Added: Internet Gaming, Casino Enterprise Management, 149.


Thompson, W., (2010, November), Value Added: Internet Gaming, Casino Enterprise Management, 148-150.

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