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Harrah's CEO Speaks of "Frustration"" of Online Poker Legal Battle

July 9, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – Harrah’s has made no secret in the past few years of its desire to get online gambling legalized and regulated in the United States. It’s publicly spent millions lobbying the U.S. government to this end, not to mention having began a new Internet-focused arm headed by ex-PartyGaming CEO Mitch Garber.

In a story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal over the weekend, Harrah’s CEO Gary Lovemen elaborates a bit on his views of the difficulties in this legal fight.

“If you were to do a poll of the American public and ask if adults should be able to go play poker online, in their homes, if they wish, the answer would be overwhelmingly favorable,” Loveman told reporter Arnold M. Knightly. “That, of course, is not the group that decides. It’s elected officials responding to a whole much more complicated set of issues. That’s the challenge and frustration.”

Most industry observers are aware of this, but it’s interesting hearing the words from someone so closely tied to the battle. Consider that Harrah’s also owns the hugely popular World Series of Poker (WSOP) — the popularity of which has been surprising even to Harrah’s leadership, according to the article. Now imagine leveraging the incredible popularity of the WSOP on the Internet, and you have some sense of the potential that Loveman envisions, and also why lawmakers’ inability to accomplish anything on the online poker legal front is indeed such a “frustration”.