Thursday February 28,2013 : WILL CAESARS EVENTUALLY DITCH 888 POKER?
Intriguing comments from CEO Loveman
Comments made by Caesars Entertainment chief executive Gary Loveman during a post-results press conference this week had the newswires buzzing Wednesday as industry observers tried to predict what the company plans in the online poker environment, particularly in regard to its association with 888 Holdings.
The company has already announced that it is to partner with 888 in the launch of online World Series of Poker brand in Nevada, which has legalised intrastate online poker with the possibility that interstate compacts may be negotiated by the governor.
Caesars and 888poker have been successful in obtaining Nevada online poker licensing, and progress toward operational status in the Silver State is reportedly moving at pace.
However, during the press conference Loveman gave some intriguing hints at a possible association with another top gambling outfit with online poker ambitions – and the wherewithal to achieve them – the French firm Barrière des Jeux.
This is what Loveman told reporters, interpreted by more than a few as indicating that although Caesars-WSOP Online may launch on a 888 platform, it could switch to a Barriere alternative at some point in the future:
“We have the right to use [888's] software and introduce it, for example, in Nevada, under what we consider to be quite reasonable terms. I would expect that when we go live in Nevada, you will see us on the 888 platform.
“We also acquired the right to use and to customise the software platform of Barrière des Jeux from France. We think that is a state-of-the-art platform; we have developers working on its modification to suit the World Series of Poker as we speak.
“So at some point, when that modification is complete, we’d anticipate that we might migrate off the 888 platform onto the Barrière platform in due time.”
Unfortunately, Caesars presents its results in such a way that it is difficult to accurately break out the performance of its online and interactive enterprises from the core land gambling activities that fall under its Caesars Interactive Entertainment division.
However, Caesars clearly has a heightened appreciation of how beneficial to its results successful online activity can be, with Loveman dwelling for some time on the possibilities for the group in states like Nevada and New Jersey, where legalised intrastate online poker and gambling has been signed into state law.
"I believe the brands that will dominate that space are Caesars and World Series of Poker," he opined.