Thursday April 7,2016 : INDUSTRY EXECS DISCUSS U.S. ONLINE POKER
Pokerstars and Caesars executives in agreement on the challenges facing US legalization.
Media reports from the iGaming North America Conference currently in progress in Las Vegas note that one panel was especially interesting to online poker fans as executives from Pokerstars and Caesars Entertainment discussed the barriers to legalization in the States.
Pokerstars' communications chief Eric Hollreiser and Caesars corporate development boss Michael Cohen demonstrated several areas of agreement during the discussion, and in particular singled out the following issues where the industry has lagged.
* The lack of a unified approach to legalization by too many self-interested factions, which has militated against a cohesive alignment of interests for the greater good.
To paraphrase Cohen: "How can legislators get on board with legislative efforts when those in the industry can't even align for it?"
Cohen used the example of the daily fantasy sports industry, which in a remarkably short space of time, albeit under adverse pressure, has presented a largely unified front in fighting its industry corner and pushing for regulation rather than banning. This, along with backing from the major sports leagues it has cultivated, has enabled the vertical to make quick progress in a number of states, and argue its case in more hostile environments.
* Better using our success stories; Hollreiser pointed to the slow but steady advance of the legalised online gambling market in New Jersey and its consumer protection and tax advantages, suggesting how that might be used to better promote legalization, and the influence it could have on surrounding states.
He also pointed out how the development of the legalised market in the Garden State has helped bring the live and online sectors of poker together in joint promotions, hopefully continuing to align interests to the benefit of the industry.
* The Adelson factor. It was posited that multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his extensively-funded opposition to online gambling legalization represents a serious obstacle to the wider industry's further advancement in the US through online gambling legalization.