According to a report by The Times, casino operator Trump Entertainment Resorts and online gaming company 888 Holdings are in discussions to offer online poker once a regulated online gambling market is implemented in the United States.
Donald Trump first showed a keen interest in online gambling last October when he and New York hedge-fund manager Marc Lasry announced plans to form an Internet gaming company when online gambling is legalized in the U.S. The company would be formed through Lasry’s Avenue Capital Group and Trump Entertainment Resorts, of which Trump himself has a 10 percent stake. Trump Entertainment Resorts owns two casinos in Atlantic City and would have a 10 percent share of the new venture.
The New Jersey Senate is holding a hearing on Tuesday to discuss legislation that would allow online wagering on casino games in the Garden State. New Jersey is one of several states attempting to push legislation through by the end of this year. New Jersey State Sen. Raymond Lesniak told PokerNews last month that Gov. Chris Christie, who vetoed an online gambling bill last year, would sign one this time around after the Department of Justice changed its interpretation of the Wire Act of 1961.
888, meanwhile, has been eyeing a share of the online gaming market since early last year. The company withdrew from the U.S. in 2006 following the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), effectively upholding its reputation during the fallout of Black Friday. 888 recently extended its partnership with Caesars Interaction Entertainment into the U.S., a huge step in paving the way for 888 to be at the forefront of legalized online poker as soon as regulations are in place.
"We are more than ready to take advantage of liberalization in the industry," 888 CEO Brian Mattingly said in an annual financial report last week. "We have a unique position in the U.S. allowing the launch of a real money offering immediately as either federal or state based regulation is finalized and upon licensing by gaming authorities.”
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