This week, both the Wall Street Journal and Las Vegas Review Journal reported that Full Tilt Poker has come to an arrangement with Fertitta Interactive, also co-owned by the founders and family behind the Stations Casino group. The partnership is speculated to be aimed at operating a joint online poker site should federal legislation regulating internet poker be passed, although full details of the agreement between the companies is “confidential” according to Tom Breitling, co owner of Fertitta Interactive. Breitling did confirm that the companies will work together towards federal internet gaming legislation passage, but any joint online business is contingent on the federal legislation passing and gaming licenses being acquired.
As the ownership group of both Station Casinos and Fertitta Interactive are also majority share holders in the UFC, rumors of a possible tie in between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Full Tilt Poker are also being pondered, but more important points are surfacing in regards to the experience MMA organizers have with respect to legislation and authority approvals. Much like online poker, mixed martial arts received strong opposition on the early path, but is now regulated and sanctioned around the globe.
The move between Full Tilt Poker and Fertitta Interactive appears quite similar to the also very recent announcement of the PokerStars/ Wynn Resorts alliance and 888 Caesars Entertainment partnerships forged in the past month; however the purpose of the efforts appears to be causing a broad scope of speculation amongst the playing community. While the land based casino brands attached to parent companies seem to making the headlines, it doesn’t appear that the actual brick and mortar buildings will have anything to do with it at all, as the new forces are all aimed at online poker and it’s legalization in Nevada and the USA. Clearly, many of the major companies involved in the gambling industry are recognizing and anticipating the future directions of the business and poising themselves to be a major player if and when change does come and already having huge customer bases interested in the product of gambling and poker, whether land based or online isn’t going to hurt either.
In Canada, we are also starting to see the provincial gaming sites settle in and more aggressively go after the market, forging their own relationships with brick and mortar events, but more importantly accepting that online gambling and poker isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and more likely than not will continue grow with our love of the convenience and lower overhead costs of the internet.