MONARCH CASINO HAS A CHANGE OF HEART ON INTERNET GAMBLING
01st April, 2014 at 04:14:19
Nevada online poker licence will not be used, says senior executive.
Having passed Nevada's stringent requirements for an online poker licence last year, the Reno-based Monarch Casino and Resort will not be using it due to fears that online poker may be the foot-in-the-door that could lead to full-on internet gambling, an executive of the company said Monday.
The head of subsidiary Atlantis Casino, John Farahi, told the Reno Gazette-Journal:
"Just because you can do something doesn't mean you do it. We used to be for it, but we found out poker is being used as a tool to jar the door open to wide-open online Internet gaming."
Farahi is clearly against the full monty; he says for a variety of moral and commercial reasons.
From a business standpoint, he claims he is not concerned with staying out of the online market. "The numbers are not that big a deal. No one's making a killing yet," he said.
"We did begin to talk [with interactive software providers]. But when we saw this turning into not just a skills game, which poker is, but open gaming, we said this is not right."
Despite his opinion on the small numbers, Farahi insists that if full-on internet gambling is legalised it will represent a commercial threat to brick-and-mortar operations and the Nevada economy, and he therefore supports a federal ban on internet gambling.
The newspaper reports that the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in the same area as Atlantis takes an opposing view, has a partnership with Ultimate Gaming, and is moving towards regulatory permission for online gambling (see previous reports).
Peppermill spokesman Bill Hughes told the Reno Gazette-Journal that his company is actioning its plans for online poker.
"We believe in that. We think there's an upside for us," he said. "But we're opposed to full online gaming from a casino standpoint. In Reno, people are used to significant brick-and-mortar properties here."
Reno gaming analyst Ken Adams opined that online gambling will best benefit large companies, saying:
"Caesars has 40 million people in its database. Who's going to compete against that? Who can compete with that in terms of bonus points and the like? So what I see is, lots of small casinos will oppose online gaming. It doesn't make any real financial sense for them. But every dollar spent online is a dollar not spent in a casino."
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