Gaming companies anticipate legalisation of American online poker
The American Gaming Association (AGA) released a statement reacting to the hearing that took place regarding the safety of online poker in Congress last week. The organisation’s CEO, Frank J. Fahrenkopf, came out in strong support of federal guidelines to regulate online poker and protect the safety of customers.
Fahrenkopf was also keen to highlight that a regulated market will offer job opportunities and more revenue for the country through taxes. A number of companies are already preparing for a possible launch into the American market. Amongst them are Boyd Gaming Corp. and MGM Resorts International who have announced that they plan to join forces with Bwin.party (operators of PartyPoker the World Poker Tour) to create an internet poker website for American gamblers if it becomes legalised and regulated in America. According to the agreement Bwin.party would own 65% of the company, MGM Resorts would own 25% and Boyd would own 10%.
According to the Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli there is a 50-50 chance of online poker being legalised in America within the next year. According to analysts the American market would be worth up to $5 billion a year should the legislation pass.
It is expected that the union between these three companies could dominate up to twenty percent of the U.S. market. Bwin.party’s CEO, Jim Ryan, said that they are preparing themselves “for the next step” and “laying a foundation for a very important milestone.” Keith Smith, CEO of Boyd Gaming, also thinks that the site “will probably all complement each other” and should be able to capture a substantial share of the market.
The Chairman of MGM Resorts Jim Murren and Keith Smith both believe that Bwin.party is a logical partner due to the success it has seen operating legally in the regulated European market.