Insiders Predict Internet Poker Would Help Vegas, U.S. Economy

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jacob Oberman, director of gaming research and analysis for CB Richard Ellis’ Global Gaming Group, was forward about his beliefs that Internet poker would soon come to Vegas, and would have a very positive impact when it did so.

“We did an analysis in July and we think the United States, forgetting about the foreign players who would play on U.S. sites, would generate $10 billion in revenues,” Oberman explains, adding that the figure represents expectations after the regulations stabilize and the industry “has a few years to ramp up.”

“Obviously, a huge concentration of gaming licenses in the U.S. are in Nevada and we felt given a company like Harrah’s (now Caesars Entertainment Corp.) it would likely create a lot of jobs in Nevada,” Oberman continues.

“And the companies here would have another way to market their product, a new group of customers to market their product to and ultimately grow their customer bases with more people coming to Las Vegas. We felt visitation to Las Vegas would ultimately grow because of Internet poker, if that legislation had passed.”

Oberman’s thoughts were echoed in an editorial in the Las Vegas Sun, which puts forward the view that Vegas can’t dig its way out of its current economic slump without some healthy “forward-thinking” — and such thinking would most likely include Internet gaming.

“The old market is rapidly fading into history with Macau, out-of-state casinos and the Internet,” the editorial states. “Las Vegas will either discover a new market or will have to fold its hand and leave the table.”