Just hours ago, while speaking to Nevada state legislators, PokerStars lobbyists were simultaneously preaching the merits of intrastate poker and rubbishing chances of similar legislation at the federal level. Now comes word that PokerStars has entered into a strategic partnership with Wynn Resorts Ltd., the ultimate goal of which is to launch a US-based online poker joint venture at PokerStarsWynn.com.
The stated mission of this tie-up is to “secure the passage of federal legislation that will finally and conclusively define illegal internet gambling, provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to stop illegal internet gambling, protect consumers by establishing a robust regulatory environment for the safe operation of online poker by experienced operators, and establish a regime for the assessment and collection of taxes.”
In a press release, Wynn Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn stated that his company was “convinced that the lack of regulation of internet gaming within the US must change. We must recognize that this activity is occurring and that law enforcement does not have the tools to stop it. As a company that has safely conducted gaming in the US for more than 40 years, we believe that the same can be done for poker on the internet.” PokerStars’ chairman Mark Scheinberg stated that his group was “excited about the opportunities that partnering with Wynn … will present for PokerStars in the United States.”
So PokerStars is campaigning hard at the state level in Nevada, in direct opposition to the wishes of big casino firms, while simultaneously partnering with a major casino outfit to push the envelope at the federal level. Attention local mayors across America, there’s plenty of PokerStars lobbying money to be had if you float the idea of an intra-municipal poker network in your local backwater.