Harrah’s makes a huge move towards online gaming

May 27, 2009 by Dan Brown in USA Poker News

In an earlier posting we noted how Harrah’s Entertainment was basically the only brick and mortar casino company that was willing to get behind Barney Frank and his proposed legislation that would finally allow poker players in the US to play online poker. Putting their money where their mouth is, they have put out over $400,000 to back their cause.

As you may recall, Party Poker was the largest and most successful online poker room before the UIGE Act came into play. While some companies decided to risk it and stay with the US market, Party Poker pulled out. At the time, Mitch Garber was the CEO of Party Gaming. Harrah’s has pulled out all of the stops and has hired Garber as the head of their new subsidiary, Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, Inc., to lead the way into a new era of online gaming.

The move makes perfect sense. While the move to pull out of the US market can be questioned, the success of the company up to that point in the US is unquestionable. He will have the advantage of knowing the ins and outs of the industry and will also be able to launch their site in European countries while US legislation is still in question.

There can be little doubt that if this legislation goes through, Harrah’s will immediately take over as the major online poker room in the United States. They will have one advantage over any other site as they are actually a brick and mortar casino and a lot of the packages that they will be able to put together should far surpass anything that any other site can do the satellites into the WSOP. They have the ability to add food, beverage and lodging in a way that no other site can do.

While the other sites have to get more entries for a $20,000 package, this stuff can literally be comped off by Harrah’s to make their site the most attractive on the net. When you also add in the fact that a US company will finally be involved in the gaming industry, it reeks of success.

US players have been longing for a company that they could trust 100% and that would be regulated by the United States to get involved in the online poker industry. While European players will have the advantage of seeing the product first, it is hard to imagine that any other site will be able to match the product that they will develop. This is welcome news to United States players and will definitely change the online poker world in a positive way.


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