Panelists agree Legal Internet Gaming Will Boost Casino Business

Published on: May 9, 2011 

Panelists, three of them Las Vegas industry executives, addressing an Internet gambling conference in Las Vegas last week, added their voice to the growing call to authorities to legalize online gambling in the United States.

The two day iGaming North America conference was attended by over 300 people and Panelists attending the conference made it quite clear that they were of the opinion that the legalization of online gambling would definitely enhance business at their land based gambling establishments.

The three Vegas industry executives on the panel said that they felt that a change in the existing laws would allow them to reach out to new customers and expand their businesses just as casino expansion in New Jersey, in riverboat markets and on Indian reservations led to established Las Vegas casinos growing their market share.

These remarks were made by the panelists on the first day of the two-day conference, the iGaming North America, which addressed aspects of Internet gambling at the Monte Carlo.

The debate is growing over whether to legalize, regulate and tax internet gambling, which is presently illegal in the United States, as a new source for governments that are starved for cash with which to pay for underfunded programs.

Although there are many industry leaders who are under the impression that online gambling will take customers away from traditional casinos those on the panel, including Doug Dalton of the Bellagia, Jan Jones of Caesars Entertainment and Art Manteris of Station Casinos said that they are sure that Internet gambling would increase the market and present more opportunities for land-based casinos.

Jan Jones, senior vice president of communications and government relations for Caesars, said "The average gaming customer is around 50 years old. The upcoming generation of gambler — the X and Y generation — makes all of their decisions on the Internet. They meet, they congregate, they make entertainment choices and I believe if we don't have a significant presence, there is the likelihood that they will make other entertainment choices that are not gambling choices."

President of gaming consultant Concept Development Group, Mark Tenner, told the conference that today there are currently an estimated 65 million people playing poker online or in casinos while eleven years ago there were only about 250,0000 players.

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