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Caesar’s Partners with 888 Holdings, Makes Step Towards Online Gaming

10 March 2011 by admin

The casino group Caesar’s Entertainment is force to be reckoned with. They are large, operating forty brick and mortar casinos within the United States alone, and they know how to throw their weight around. There is some speculation on whether Caesar’s had New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s ear along with the conservative Republican base, and thus lending a hand in the conditional veto of the New Jersey online gambling bill.

New Jersey aside, Caesar’s is still big and still powerful. And after hearing about their latest move in the online gambling industry, I am willing to bet that Caesar’s would be a good chess player.

Caesar’s is not opposed to online gambling. They would love to see US citizens doing their poker, slots or blackjack online if they will not set foot in one of their brick and mortar casinos. But they only want online gambling in the US on a federally approved level, not on a state-by-state level. The reason being is that there is more money to be made by Caesar’s with nationally approved online gambling considering that it would open all forty of Caesar’s brick and mortar casinos to partner with third partner online gambling portals. Not to mention it would be easy, and we all know that Americans need things easy.

The latest strategic move, or tiny step, on Caesar’s part was to form a partnership with 888 Holdings. The partnership was approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and recommended that the Nevada Gaming Commission approve the partnership as well.

The partnership comes from the allegiances that Caesar’s has made recently with Fordart Ltd. and Cassava Enterprises Ltd. Both of those companies are subsidiaries of 888 Holdings, thus making the partnership one between Caesar’s and 888 Holdings. While on the surface the partnership may not seem like a big deal, but there are a few key things that can now happen for both Caesar’s and 888.

First, the partnership will allow Caesar’s to have an online presence overseas, specifically in the UK. While it is illegal for Caesar’s to offer online gambling in the US, there is nothing in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that prohibits a US-based casino group from interacting with an international market. The purpose of the UIGEA was to keep US citizens from gambling online, not to prohibit online gambling dealings entirely in the US. As Nevada Gaming Control board member A.G. Burnett said, “It’s a business to business agreement that would allow Caesar’s to offer games in the UK. The UIGEA is vague at best and was done in haste and its passage forced (888) to abandon the US market to its detriment.”

Second, since 888 was brought up, they stand to profit from the partnership as well. While the UIGEA is still in place 888 is not going to benefit…yet. Representative Barney Frank and Representative John Campbell are drafting a bill that will be released in April that would effectively repeal the UIGEA and set up regulation for online gambling in the US. And with 888 now being partnered with Caesar’s, both companies will already be in position to launch a US facing online gambling portal; both companies will have a leg up on the US market, and 888 will be in position to reenter the US online gambling market.

So what on the surface is a quiet deal, it really is a quiet positioning of two companies who both want a jump on the US online gambling market.

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