U.S. Casino Operators Tap Into Experience Of European Firms

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200325572-001Last week Bloomberg reported that a former head of Gibraltar-based gambling website Betclic Ltd. was brought on board by Landry’s Inc. to run its online operations in preparation for the launch of the service later this year.

The owner of the Golden Nugget casinos recruited Thomas Winter to help introduce online betting in New Jersey and Nevada.

In an industry that is legal in 10 countries, U.S. casino makers are consulting European management to draw on their experience and expertise.  In Europe last year, online gambling accounted for nearly $14 billion in revenue.  Some analysts predict the online gambling market in the U.S., lead by Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada could grow to more than $7 billion by 2017.

As part of its online expansion, Golden Nugget has partnered with Bally Technologies for online gambling architecture and support.  Last year, the Las Vegas based Bally Technologies purchased online gambling outfit Chiligaming.

Chiligaming had offices in France, the United Kingdom, and Malta.

Steve Scheinthal, executive vice president and general counsel for Landry’s said about Bally: “They had the experience with gaming in Europe and we didn’t want to do business with someone who will compete against us here.”

The British territory of Gibraltar, among the legal online gambling regions in Europe, is particularly inviting due to its low taxes.

David Berman, investment banker of Los Angeles based Macquarie Capital USA Inc., says the partnerships with European gaming companies are likely to continue: “The Europeans are the only companies with real-money gaming online expertise on any scale — yet the U.S. gaming operators have the gaming licenses, customer data bases and local knowledge.”

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