Friday August 17, 2012 : BIG BUCKS INTERESTED IN U.S. INTERNET GAMBLING
Top business magazine identifies 11 billionaires who are eying the possibilities
Forbes Magazine is carrying a photo article that identifies 11 US billionaires whom it claims have more than a passing interest in legalised internet gambling.
Land gambling and property mogul Donald Trump and hedge fund billionaire Marc Lasry head the list with their previously announced intention to form a joint venture once American legalization has been achieved.
Steve Wynn, another land casino owner has also shown on a number of occasions that he has identified the online gambling business as a lucrative business opportunity. Although he backed out of a deal with Pokerstars in the aftermath of Black Friday, he is still said to be interested.
Leon Black and David Bonderman are no strangers to the world of gambling, having taken their private equity firms into a $30 billion deal on Caesar's Entertainment (then Harrahs) several years ago. Despite struggling in a tough business environment, Caesars has been one of the companies leading the charge on pushing for the legalization of online poker, and its interactive division has close ties with 888 Holdings.
The Fertitta brothers, Lorenzo and Frank have land casino interests in the Station Group and have already opened Fertitta Interactive, which holds the recently acquired Cyberarts poker software developer.
Real estate tycoons Steven Roth and Herbert Simon are also poised to become key players through their interest in the high profile US Digital Gaming, a potential software and services provider headed by former Wynn executive Richard Bronson.
Curiously – bearing in mind his oft-stated opposition to online gambling – the article includes Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson, apparently reasoning that if the US legalises he would be unlikely to stand aloof from the opportunities it presents.