This past Friday WSOP parent company (Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment) took a step in the direction of online gaming. They have partnered with 888, and their Dragonfish division will provide the software and develop the platform.
This is not likely to happen quickly, however, so i wouldn’t be holding my breath! 888 Holdings is a major player in the European online gambling market, but not nearly as big in North America due to pulling out of the US market when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006.
With their decision to go with 888 as a provider and developer it seems like Harrah’s is hedging their bets that online gambling will soon be “legalized” in the states. It makes sense, as no one would want to dump money into abusiness that is “illegal” and working with a company that pulled out as soon as the waters were muddy seems like a smart move.
Seth Palansky (director of communications, Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment) stated:
“Obviously we are hopeful the U.S. government will recognize that – like our brick and mortar gaming establishments – online poker can be regulated, taxed and run with the utmost confidence. If that happens, great, if not we’ll focus on other markets.”
Maybe those other markets include Europe……? hmm…