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Vegas Casino Partnerships on Both Sides of Intrastate Bill

30 March 2011 by admin

Online gambling is inevitable in the United States. There are just too many people playing and the numbers just keep growing: 8.6 million and increasing. Last year the US online poker market alone pulled in over $5 billion alone. With Vegas facing down a decline in visitors and revenue the time has come to decide how to proceed to continue making Vegas the success it is supposed to be and to bring money back to state coffers. So far the idea has been to legalize online gambling within the state of Nevada with intrastate gambling bill, Bill AB258. Casinos are making partnerships with online gambling operators and the lines have been drawn.

On one side there is the partnership between Caesar’s Entertainment and 888 Holdings. They are on the ‘No to online gambling in Nevada’ side, and not because either is against Nevada residents gambling online. The breakdown of this partnership looks more like this: Caesar’s is against intrastate online gambling and would rather push for federally regulated online gambling; 888 is along for the ride because it puts them into position for the time when Caesar’s can offer their players a Caesar’s Online. Also to Caesar’s benefit is that ability to operate overseas in the UK through their partnership with 888.

On the other side are those who are in favor of online gambling. The biggest partnership on this side of the line is the partnership between Wynn Resorts and PokerStars. The casino resort giant moved to partner with one of the biggest names in online poker. Steve Wynn may have started out being against online gambling, but then so did almost all of the casinos on the Strip. But Wynn is a smart business man who is perfectly capable of looking down the road. He sees how the future is, not in switching entirely to online gambling, but to incorporating online gambling with brick and mortar operations. And, as one writer put it, he “flipped on online gambling faster than a freshly-boated halibut.” I just love that simile. Makes me laugh.

But in all seriousness, Wynn sees how brick and mortar casinos can partner with online gambling operators, like how he has partnered his casino business with PokerStars, to create and offer players a way to play at the biggest names in Vegas without ever having to leave home; players can gamble and still earn comps to use on a trip to that casino in Vegas; think of it as being similar to building up reward points to be redeemed at a later date. It would also be possible to offer online players special discounts to stay at the resort that non-online players would not have access to. Money through online gambling and potentially an increase in visitors from comps earned through playing online.

Note: There is nothing in Bill AB258 that says the players will definitely receive comps for playing in casinos’ online counterparts. That would be up to the Vegas casino owners. At this point Bill AB258 that would legalize and regulate online gambling in Nevada is still being squabbled over.

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