Posted 3/25/11 : "We've examined the legal aspects carefully", say partners
After a two-hour hearing, the Nevada Gaming Commission this week approved a business relationship between the interactive division of Caesars Entertainment and 888 Holdings plc, the goal of which is to commercially exploit online gambling opportunities in Europe.
The liaison between the two companies had earlier received the blessing of the Nevada Gaming Control Board
Commission regulators appeared to accept the inevitability of online gambling legalization, saying that the future could hold further partnership agreements.
Referring to a legalization bill currently entering the state legislative process, Commissioner Randolph Townsend reportedly commented: "Whether this bill passes or not, there's going to be pressure on this board and this commission to authorize Internet gaming. This is the first of perhaps many relationships that will be developed over time."
Caesars and 888 executives and lawyers assured the commissioners that they have been careful in assessing both the relationship and the legalities of Internet gambling. 888 stopped offering online wagers in the United States after the implementation of the UIGEA in 2006.
Caesars Interactive chief exec Mich Garber did not comment on the specifics of Nevada bill AB258, but said similar legislative proposals in New Jersey, California and Nevada, and at the federal level, illustrate that the legalization movement is picking up momentum.
Caesars Entertainment is on record as saying that it prefers a federal approach to regulated online gambling in the United States, rather than a state-by-state development of the industry.
"As a company, you clearly know that we have been lobbying and are in favor of legalised and taxable online gaming," Garber said. "We see this all as a very positive development for online gaming and we intend to be at the forefront of all these developments."