Internet Gambling a Hot Issue In Months Ahead Says AGA President

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Nov/17/2008
Internet Gambling

The legalization of Internet gaming "will be the hottest federal issue facing Nevada's gaming industry in the next few years", Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gaming Association told the Reno Gazette as this year's Global Gaming Expo kicks off in Las Vegas.

"If it were legalized, I know that Harrahs, which now owns the World Series of Poker, would be extremely interested in getting into that market. We know that MGM has been bullish on Internet gaming for a long time. Steve (Wynn), I don't know what he would do and I don't know what some of the other operators would do."

This year's Global Gaming Expo was expected to be a mere shell of itself.

"As thousands of gaming industry representatives begin arriving in Las Vegas for the eighth annual Global Gaming Expo, they will find the city much changed since last year's conference and trade show," Fahrenkopf writes in the Las Vegas Journal Review.

"The nation currently is facing a housing and financial crisis of historic proportions, and Southern Nevada could easily be considered ground zero. Or, at the very least, it is a microcosm of the nation's economic woes: It is home to an industry devastated by decreased consumer spending, and its citizens struggle with the highest foreclosure rate in America."

Fahrenkopf suggests that today's economic challenges will ultimately make the gaming industry stronger, but that Internet gambling will ultimately play a role.

"There have been projections circulated on the Hill that it (online gambling) can raise billions of dollars in new federal revenue," said Fahrenkopf. "So we can expect that the whole issue of Internet gambling will be front and center in the next Congress."

Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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