Casinos Get Excited About Online Gaming
Casino companies are finally starting to see online games as a possible growth engine for the industry and expect help from Congress. The American Gaming Association, which is the lobbying arm of the casino industry, is in communication with members of Congress about the four different bills floating through the House and Senate.
This has become an urgent issue for the industry in the November elections approach. The elections will likely result in a more conservative Congress that is less friendly to the legalization of online gambling, so now is the time for action.
This is big business for the industry in domestic markets as Las Vegas and the struggles of companies like MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) struggle with high debt levels. It does not look as if Las Vegas will provide growth for some time, online play is the best option. The advantages are clear: low initial cost, high-margin, high growth potential, it is all a dream company.
Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) has studied the games online, but the real winners could be the operators with more variety to offer. Harrah’s and MGM Centers has more than a dozen properties of each scattered across the country. A variety of prizes, which is a major differentiator in the online gaming could be offered, is expected to bring players in both online casino and casino brick and mortar.
But not only the big players will join, I would not be surprised to see smaller benefits to operators of online gambling. Some online players have no interest in profits from Las Vegas-centric, and Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD) and Ameristar Casinos (Nasdaq: ASCA) have the casinos throughout the country. local benefits that Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: Wynn) can not offer in Las Vegas could attract players online in these other markets.
I’ll be watching the progress of bills online games in Congress. This could be a big win for the casino industry if it can get the right legislation.