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Top Executives Discuss Online Gambling
Thursday, October 4, 2012 : TOP EXEC PANEL DISCUSSES ONLINE GAMBLING
Even Las Vegas Sands knows it's coming....
Top US gambling industry execs shared their thoughts on the advent of legalised online gambling during a session at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas Wednesday, following a key note address in which American Gaming Association chief Frank Fahrenkopf urged federal legalisation
Covering the event, the Associated Press news agency noted that the consensus was that Internet gambling is inevitable and that U.S. companies and customers are vulnerable to overseas Internet poker operations.
"But the chief executives of Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corp. differed during a keynote panel discussion with four other industry leaders about whether states or the federal government are best able to provide oversight," the service reports.
Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson has become well known for his antipathy to online gambling, but even his Las Vegas Sands chief Michael Leven admitted that despite Adelson's fears: "We know it's coming."
Leven said he agrees with Adelson that individual states, not the federal government, should adopt regulations, a preference at odds with most of the big land operators and the AGA, which favours a federal solution.
"We have concerns about any bill that's going to add more people to the federal government," Leven said. "I'm a state's rights guy. We don't like to see the government getting any bigger."
However, he stressed that Adelson - a massive contributor the Republican Party political coffers - hasn't been lobbying for his position on Internet gambling.
Leven took a more cautious and perhaps pessimistic approach to other panelists, saying: "We believe that when everyone gets into it, the cost of acquisition will go up and profitability will go down. So it's not going to be a free lunch."
MGM Resorts International chief executive Jim Murren said his company supports the American Gaming Association position that the federal government should adopt regulations to protect U.S. customers, thus avoiding an inconsistent patchwork of different state requirements.
"We believe we can make money on this and are embracing it as an opportunity," said Murren.
"We will not be Amazoned," he added, referring to the drastic impact online sales from companies such as Amazon.com Inc have had on traditional firms.
Gambling equipment makers on the panel said they saw opportunities for their businesses, with Internet poker introduced around the world and other casino games following.
"Don't think of it as threatening," said Patti Hart, chief executive of International Game Technology. "Think of it as layering. It allows the industry to grow again.
"The gambling industry has always done a great job of reinventing itself. To grow again in the U.S., it's critical," she opined.
Brian Gamache, president and chief executive of WMS Industries said his firm has been doing business in the United Kingdom for three years. He called Internet poker a "stalking horse" that attracts players who later turn to other games that are more profitable for operators.
"Online gaming is here. Our biggest challenge is converting the 25 to 35 year old to becoming participants in our industry," said Gamache.
Walter Bugno, the head Spielo International, called customer loyalty and retention the key challenge for companies offering Internet gambling.
"It's only one click of the finger and you're gone," Bugno said.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
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