Caesars Entertainment and PokerStars recently announced that they would join forces to push for the legalization of online gambling in the United States. The collaboration between these two powerhouses might come as a surprise to many in the gambling industry considering they are fierce competitors and rivals in the industry.
However both companies believe that by joining forces they will significantly enhance their online gambling campaign and be in a better position to influence legislators in the United States.
Amaya Gaming which owns PokerStars has collaborated with Caesars before on a previous assignment and had a successful partnership. This is probably why Caesars has decided to join forces with Amaya Gaming and push towards a common goal. If Amaya Gaming did not acquire PokerStars in 2014, Caesars would most likely have not entered into a collaborative agreement with PokerStars. Now both companies will join their financial resources and launch a single online gambling legalization campaign that will look to challenge billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s anti-online gambling stance.
In a statement, Jan Jones Blackhurst, the Executive Vice President of Governmental Relations for Caesars said
We need to focus on where our opposition really lies, and clearly it’s not Amaya and PokerStars. They are a strong ally in the space
Caesars and PokerStars will clearly face strong opposition from the anti-online gambling lobbyists including the American Gaming Association (AGA) who is strongly against the licensing of PokerStars in the United States. The AGA had has strong concerns about the reputation and past history of PokerStars and has urged U.S legislators to bank PokerStars from entering the United States
because the integrity of the gaming industry would be gravely compromised by any regulatory approval of PokerStars, a business built on deceit, chicanery, and systematic flouting of U.S. law.
Sheldon Adelson will not be too concerned about the new partnership between Caesars Entertainment and PokerStars as so far only 3 states have approved online gambling in the U.S. and his anti-online gambling campaign appears to be having a strong impact. The online gambling market in these 3 states has not performed as per initial expectations and industry analysts predict that these markets will continue to struggle in 2015.
Caesars Entertainment and PokerStars realize that they may not make a lot of progress in 2015 but they believe that they can make a significant impact to encourage states like California, Mississippi, Washington and Pennsylvania to propose and review new online gambling bills that could be legalized in 2016.