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Caesar’s Interactive Partnership With 888 Approved by Nevada Gaming Control Board

26 March 2011 by Devon Chappell

It has been pretty much common knowledge in the industry that Caesar’s Interactive Entertainment has been grooming itself to be a powerful presence in the potential future online gaming market in the United States. And with Wednesday’s approval of Nevada’s National Gaming Board to allow the company to collaborate with the Gibraltar-based online casino company, 888 Holdings, they are leaping that much closer to securing a powerful position in the online gambling industry. Interestingly, it is rumored that Caesar’s played a huge roll in ensuring Chris Christie’s veto of the New Jersey online gambling bill that would have been passed into law if he had simply made his signature MIA.

I know, those two statements most likely seem to have very conflicting interests – well let’s break them down and take a closer look at this complex, ever changing, situation.

Caesar’s obviously didn’t poo-poo online casinos being legalized in New Jersey due to some moral prejudice or fear of change within their industry – they were against the idea because state-by-state legalization is simply not good enough for them. They want it all or nothing. And my money is on them eventually getting what they want, and online casinos, along with online poker, becoming federally legalized and regulated in the United States of America.

This is their goal for a multitude of reasons. If states legalized sporadically and one by one, the regulation of said online casinos would be a big stinking ball of mess. The likelihood of being able to ensure quality control and even distribution of tax revenue would be nearly impossible, thereby, practically guaranteeing dishonest business practices and organized crime. OK, that reason seems very altruistic for a multi-billion dollar casino corporation… so let’s not talk about the more selfish reasons Caesar’s has interests in federal legalization.

Caesar’s has a immensely popular brand that is PERFECT for the online format, and that they desperately want to market to the mass population: The World Series of Poker. It is a home run for them, and they want to make sure they hit it out of the park and don’t just settle on a walk to 1st base. And let’s be honest – Americans love brand names. The chances of Caesar’s being able to dominate quickly in the once foreign online casino industry is almost guaranteed. If they were only able to market themselves in certain areas, and had to obsess over an overwhelming amount of different regulation standards according to state, they would be taking a huge hit in the potential income they could be generating. Plus, they would then be required to have a “headquarters” and online gaming license in each state it was legal in, which would mean exponentially more licensing fees and duplicate tax percentages to pay out.

888 Holdings is surely ecstatic to win the bid with Caesar’s, given that this could prove to be their eventual ticket to being one of the big players in the US market, which they withdrew from shortly before the UIGEA was enacted. US players are a cash cow for the online casino industry in epic proportions. Even now, with the UIGEA complicating payment processing and many online casinos not even accepting US players, they still dominate the overall amount that is gambled online. 888, along with all online casinos worth their salt, want to get their hands on a piece of the revenue pie as soon as the sleeping giant awakes…and starts gambling on the internet. And with this most recent development – it seems that the proverbial coffee-pot/alarm clock is ticking down to the moment when it’ll brew a fresh hot pot of online gambling federal legalization.

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