With the world’s top online poker website and a major casino company joining forces, the efforts to finally make online poker in the United States gained more teeth. The question is: will it finally bite this time?
It has been quite a long and tedious battle. Online poker has become so widespread all over the United States that bids to make it legal have been made, though mostly met with either indifference or lukewarm reception.
The constantly changing landscape of Internet gaming in within the U.S. has effectively underscored the lack of regulation for it. It is a case of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. As pointed out by Wynn Resorts’ chairman and CEO Steve Wynn, law enforcement does not have the means to put a stop to unregulated Internet gaming. Thus, the most logical thing to do would be to regulate it in order to take advantage of the income and tax dollars to accrue in favor of the U.S.
A legislation to make online poker legal for residents of Nevada was heard last week, but was faced with great opposition, particularly from the biggest names in the casino industry. MGM Grand Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, among others, are adamant that the regulation of online gambling be on the federal level instead of the state. MGM Resorts spokesperson Alan Feldman stated that doing so would assure a more cohesive set of rules and regulations.
A new developments, however, could very well be the vital push that supporters of this bid have been waiting for.
Last Thursday, the state’s Gaming Control Board gave their nod on the partnership between Gibraltar-based Internet gaming company 888 Holdings PLC and Caesars Entertainment Corporation. This partnership involves the operation of online gambling sites in Britain and other regions while using the Caesars brand. Caesars Entertainment Corp. happens to be the world’s largest gaming company, with over 50 casinos, resorts and golf courses to its name. The mere fact that the Gaming Control Board seemed to show signs of softening is taken as a positive sign.