02/19/2012 : ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION UNLIKELY BEFORE 2013
Wall Street analyst speculates on the future of internet poker
Despite persistent, and as it turns out inaccurate, rumours that US politicians were about to take another run at attaching a poker legalization bill to important federal financial proposals, it is unlikely that Americans will see legalised online poker before 2013.
Such is the assessment of Macquarie Securities analyst Chad Beynon in a report on the current state of play.
Beynon singled out Nevada as the most likely state to make progress on an intrastate basis due to the organised and professional manner in which it had approached legalization through state law and the detailed construction of a regulatory regime.
The result is a flexible system that can be adapted to both intrastate and federal requirements, giving Nevada a significant edge in the legalization stakes.
"We think the standards were written in a way that will allow for small adjustments as the process moves forward," Beynon wrote. "At this point, no firm date has been set, but 13 companies have now submitted for an operating license."
America's major land gambling groups would continue to lobby for federal legalization, Beynon predicted in his report. He appears to feel that Nevada has appeal due to its forethought in preparing the way for legalization, but that the social networking phenomenon with its ‘play-for-fun' prospects also offers opportunities.
Beynon identified three interesting social networking operations that attract millions of daily visitors and may be attractive: Zynga's Texas HoldEm Poker; Playtika's Slotomania following a deal with Caesars; and Facebook's DoubleDown Casino, recently acquired by IGT .
US states making progress appear to be California, New Jersey and Iowa, he opined, all of which could adopt legalization measures before the end of 2012.
It was possible that Nevada's regulations would set a standard for others to follow, even at federal level, he speculated.
Among the US land gambling giants interested in online poker possibilities, Caesars Entertainment was probably best positioned due to its ownership, experience and the strong brand and presence of the World Series of Poker, Beynon wrote.
Other good bets could be MGM and Boyd Gaming, both of which had secured useful partnerships with an eye on internet gambling prospects.
He felt that major lottery suppliers were also well placed to benefit due to existing infrastructure and business relationships that could enable them to generate business from the supply of both content and platforms.