Jeffrey Haas is the director of Poker for bwin.party and featured as the 7th most powerful man on Bluff Magazine’s 2014 Power 20 list. The state of online poker in the U.S is one of the hottest topics for online gambling companies who are looking to enter into the U.S and capture market share amidst stiff competition.
Yet all has not been well with the online poker market in the U.S. While Nevada has done reasonably well since legalizing online poker, other states such as New Jersey have not experienced positive results.
Haas recently opened up and discussed a number of issues pertaining to the development of online poker in the U.S.
Haas firmly believes that one of the main reasons why online poker has faced so much resistance is due to the opposition of Sheldon Adelson’s anti-online poker campaign. Adelson, who is the CEO and Chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and according to Forbes has a net worth of $36.4 billion.
Adelson launched and financed an anti-online poker campaign on the grounds that it is virtually impossible to regulate online gambling and this poses huge concerns for authorities. Adelson is adamant that he will not stop his campaign until online poker is made illegal throughout the U.S. Adelson also received support from Steve Wynn, who is the CEO and Chairman of Wynn Resorts, Limited.
Haas believes that Adelson’s influence, wealth and support from individuals like Steve Wynn is detrimental to online poker in the U.S. Haas stated that he doubted the motives and reasons behind Adelson campaign saying
If they were really concerned as they say, they would work with the operators and regulators to bring about more controls.
Haas was also critical of the American Gaming Association who have taken a “no position” on the online gambling verdict. Haas stated that the AGA being no-committal to either cause is cheap way of backing out and lacked spine.
Haas was surprised at the state of online gambling in New Jersey and said bwin.party expected the market to be four times bigger than it turned out to be. The saturation of the New Jersey market did not pose too much of a concern because Haas believes that bwin.party needs to improve each and every step of the process by a significant margin in order for it to capture market share and build customer loyalty. Haas confirmed that bwin.party will focus on “Customer Experience Management” as a goal and look to increase their customer base.