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Internet gambling a competitive threat or an opportunity?

Gambling experts addressing a conference in Las Vegas this week have assured land gambling operators that online casinos have the potential to enhance business at brick-and-mortar properties rather than constituting a competitive threat that could harm business.

Three experts opined that the legalisation of Internet gambling would give land operators the ability to reach out to new customers, expanding their businesses.

The panelists were addressing delegates to the iGaming North America conference, which attracted some three hundred people.

Jan Jones of Caesars Entertainment , Art Manteris of Station Casinos and Doug Dalton of Bellagio, all said they believe legalised US Internet gambling would grow the market and present opportunities for land-based casinos.

“The average gaming customer is around 50 years old,” said Jones, senior vice president of communications and government relations for Caesars. “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.”

Jones cited the newspaper industry, record stores and bookstores as businesses that did not have good online strategies in place and paid the price for failing to react to the advantages of the technology.

She said that the popularity of poker, the game that is driving the effort to legalise online wagering in the United States, has grown exponentially in the last decade.

Mark Tenner , president of consultants Concept Development Group , said around 250,000 people played poker online or in casinos 11 years ago. Today, there are an estimated 65 million players.

Doug Dalton, a poker room manager at the Bellagio, said the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour have grown in part as a result of players migrating to casinos from online poker.

Panelist Steve Rittvo , chairman of The Innovation Group , said he believes the poker market would double within five years of online legalisation.

Vahe Baloulian , CEO of Red Planet Marketing in Austria, said television has successfully grown markets in Europe by educating viewers about how to play games in an entertaining way.

Source: InfoPowa News

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