January 3, 2013 : U.S. BILLIONAIRES INTERESTED IN ONLINE GAMBLING
Forbes looks at powerful interests with an eye on legalised internet gambling
Our readers may recall a story last year in which major business personalities in the United States were identified as having an interest in online gambling, should it be legalised in the United States at federal or state levels.
The influential publication Forbes revisited the subject this week, identifying the following:
Land gambling mogul Donald Trump has been open about his intention to capitalise on legalization, saying: “This has to happen because many other countries are doing it and like usual the U.S. is just missing out.”
Trump associate and head of the giant Avenue Capital Group hedge fund, Marc Lasry has ambitions in a 10 percent share of a venture with Trump in the event that online gambling is legalised. ACG manages around $12 billion in investments, Forbes reports.
Steve Wynn, who heads the Wynn Resorts land gambling empire, needs little introduction and prior to Black Friday was negotiating a deal with Pokerstars contingent on US legalization of online poker. He's on record as supporting legalised online poker.
Leon Black, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan are three American billionaires whose Apollo Global Management enterprise holds a $30 billion chunk of the Caesars Entertainment land gambling group, which has pushed hard for a federal solution to online poker legalization, and has an interactive division based in Canada that is involved with internet gambling partners in European activity. Caesars was recently granted an intrastate online poker operating licence by the state of Nevada.
David Bonderman's company TPG is involved with Apollo Global in the Caesars deal, and supports a federal legalization solution for online poker.
Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, brothers with extensive land gambling interests, have started an interactive division which acquired veteran online poker software developer Cyberarts last year. The brothers prefer a federal solution, but have also applied for an online poker licence from Nevada. They were believed to be close to a deal with Full Tilt Poker when the DoJ's Black Friday operation upset the applecart. Full Tilt is no longer available, having been acquired by Pokerstars in a deal with the DoJ.
Steven Roth, a highly successful real estate businessman is involved with former land gambling exec Richard Bronson in the US Digital Gaming enterprise, a high profile US company which promotes the concept of legalised online gambling and is focused on the provision of software and marketing services.
Herbert Simon, a mall and sports team owner is another backer involved in US Digital.
The last name on the Forbes list is hardly a supporter of online gambling, but can nevertheless be said to have an interest in developments. Sheldon Adelson heads the massive Las Vegas Sands land gambling group and has made no secret of his antipathy to legalised online gambling. He's also one of the Republican Party's major donators, and therefore carries substantial political clout.