Legalisation of gambling in US inevitable

Business program interviews two independent analysts

The CNBC television business program "Closing Bell" gave the online gambling legal issue in the US some air Thursday in a four minute insert coinciding with the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

Analysts Andrew Parmentire of Height Analytics and David Katz from Oppenheimer's gaming division were interviewed on the program, with both expressing the opinion that the legalisation of Internet gaming in the United States was inevitable....eventually.

Parmentire commented on Barney Frank's latest attempt to regulate and legalise, opining that the stars appeared to be coming into the right sort of alignment for success. He exampled this with observations on the serious need for new tax revenues at both federal and state levels and the predicted billions that a taxed online gambling industry could deliver, and recent moves by Harrah's in launching an interactive division.

Katz said: “Gambling in the U.S. has become a far more acceptable consumer product than it was five or ten years ago. That said, we really are much more focused on the publicly traded companies and that would be the brick-and-mortars like Harrah’s as well as the game providers and the technology companies that support those industries.”

Katz went on to explain that with land casinos slowly reaching their limits in terms of space, the switch to the Web is inevitable: “If you go to the Bellagio, they have a couple of hundred seats to sit in, so there’s a physical constraint. If you look at the number of states out there that are considering legalizing gaming, they’re going down every year. There’s a finite opportunity for the brick-and-mortar guys to expand in the United States and at some point, they have to start thinking globally.”

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