Posted 3/25/11 : Once an opponent of online gambling, Wynn's owner now signs a partnership agreement with Pokerstars
 
On the same day that the Nevada Assembly Judicial Committee completed a discussion on the intrastate legalization of online gambling, one of the biggest land operators in the state made a dramatic announcement that it had signed a partnership agreement with the global online poker giant Pokerstars.
 
The announcement was all the more surprising due to the previously anti-online gambling policy of the Steve Wynn, the owner of Wynn Resorts Ltd.
 
The company's statement described the agreement as a strategic alliance with PokerStars, formed with the objective of  legalising and operating an Internet poker business in the United States.
 
Pokerstars is deeply involved in the promotion of Nevada Bill AB258, recently launched by Assemblyman William Horne (see previous InfoPowa reports).
 
“After much study, we are convinced that the lack of regulation of internet gaming within the US must change," said billionaire Steve Wynn, chief executive of Wynn Resorts.
 
"We must recognize that this activity is occurring and that law enforcement does not have the tools to stop it. As a company that has safely conducted gaming in the US for more than 40 years, we believe that the same can be done for poker on the internet. Additionally, it is time that the thousands of jobs created by this business and the potentially significant tax dollars come home to the US.”
 
Wynn said his company and PokerStars aim to push for federal legalization in the United States, then run a jointly named website for Americans branded PokerStarsWynn.com.
 
For Pokerstars, the announcement suggested that the online giant was hedging its bets – supporting both federal and intrastate legalization solutions.
 
Mark Scheinberg, chairman and founder of PokerStars, said the alliance with Wynn is a critical step toward a closely regulated Internet gambling business in the United States.
 
“We have long supported the enactment of local regulatory regimes that protect consumers and provide valuable tax revenues and jobs," said Scheinberg.
 
"PokerStars is closely regulated in many European countries and it has been endorsing the adoption of the same approach in the United States for years, with this alliance representing a critical step in that direction. We are excited about the opportunities that partnering with Wynn, a pioneering leader and innovator in gaming, will present for PokerStars in the United States.
 
“These opportunities include the rapid ramp-up in hiring of a large number of professionals in this growing global technology and services sector that will benefit from US talent to keep up with global demand.”