Harrah’s Wants Federal Internet Gambling Laws, Not State-by-State
May 25, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – Clarifying its stance on the issue of regulating and legalizing online gambling, mega-player Harrah’s has come out against the idea of New Jersey implementing new online casino laws, stating that it should wait until the federal government does so first — and then abide by those rules.
It makes sense: Harrah’s has reportedly spent a lot of money lobbying for legalized online casinos in the U.S. on a national level, and that movement would probably be undermined by a network of state-by-state laws — even in New Jersey, where the company operates a number of profitable land-based casinos in the state’s land-based gambling mecca, Atlantic City.
Specifically, the company has come out against a bill against New Jersey state Senator Raymond Lesniak’s bill that would allow legalized sports betting in the Garden State.
“The bill includes provisions to allow Internet gaming run through Atlantic City casinos, which could also open the door for other Internet-based gambling companies,” writes Mike Pritchard at the Atlantic City Weekly. “Poker games would be a major component.”
As Pritchard describes it, the law is endorsed by many other online gambling companies. When the bill was heard publicly in Atlantic City in April, many local casino representatives suggested that “if online betting was legalized in the U.S., many companies, now based overseas, would flock to Atlantic City to be their base. The state’s tough regulatory reputation would actually be a draw, they said, as the companies would want to increase customer trust.”
“Opponents, however, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, which owns four A.C. casinos, say the state should wait until a federal policy on Internet gaming and sports betting is set. Though there are some federal legislative moves underway, it’s not likely that anything will be passed this year.”
Harrah’s is big enough, of course, to bide its time, while others are not.
The article goes on to reference New Jersey’s status as hot topic at the Canadian GigSE conference, as the CAP News page reported last week.