Mickey Charles talks about Mobile, US Regulation and The Sportsbook Industry

TAGs: European iGaming Expo, Harry Reid, Jon Kyl, mickey charles, Mitt Romney, Paddy Power, President Obama, Rebecca Liggero,, US regulation, William Hill


A US-gaming industry expert thinks that President Obama being re-elected will be key to gambling expansion in the United States of America with the prospect of Mitt Romney likely to “close the doors for four years”. Mickey Charles, CEO of, told on-camera reporter Rebecca Liggero at the recent EiG conference that US gaming expansion may hinge on the US public’s choice of leader in the election next week.

Mickey Charles, President & CEO of The Sports Network in EiG Barcelona 2012“If Obama is re-elected then gaming has a good chance to expand a bit and if he does a good job there’s even better chance of expansion,” Charles said. “If the Republicans get elected you may as well close the door for gaming. It’ll stay the way it was and stay with the casinos. Close the doors for four years and don’t even think about it.”

The cause of those casinos would be boosted further by the passing of the federal online poker bill, which Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyl will introduce during the ‘Lame Duck’ session that will follow the election. That would favor Nevada based casinos and Charles’s words suggest that Romney being elected may well move this bill along.

Charles’s background is in the sports betting industry though and in recent months he has seen a number of European-facing firms, including William Hill and Paddy Power, move into the USA. What’s his advice for European firms heading over the pond then?

“Very simple. Take all the logs that you need to set the blaze, pile them up and leave them alone,” he said. “Then head back to the UK and light your other fire there and wait. The US hasn’t handed out the matches or the gas but be ready for them.”

Affiliates are another group trying to solve the conundrum that is the regulated US online market and Charles urged them to not to even try the market as the “licensing procedure is horrendous” and therefore “it’s not worth it”.

He added: “The best way would be to be a sub-licensee of an affiliate that has already gone through the process of getting a licence.”

This would save the regulators snooping around you, your family, your ex-girlfriends and your dogs history to decide if you’re a suitable party.

Charles is another that states the US “is the largest sports betting market in the world and it will eclipse everybody”. It’s something that it’s hard to argue against and with so much money at stake its no surprise that some of the larger bookmakers on EU shores are making their way over. Whether they actually get to operate could be down to the administration in place come Tuesday.


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