In advance of legalization of online gambling, which they expect could happen in the near future, a couple of publicly-traded overseas gaming companies are in the process of partnering up with gaming interests that have operated in the U.S.
Two of the most notable are Bwin and William Hill, who have pointed primarily toward Europeans. The U.S. market is obviously very coveted, and the companies see a little “softening” in the attitude on the regulatory front, even in the wake of the shutdown of a number of gaming websites earlier in the year, which included the seizure of domains by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bwin is reportedly in deep conversations with a companies that operate in three states – New Jersey, California and Florida – that they hope will soon pave the way for legal online gambling. William Hill has already bought a couple of small land-based operations. One must assume that Bwin is talking to land-based casino companies as well, since any campaigns in individual states to legalize online business would likely requite the companies to be licensed specifically in that state.
This also reaffirms the suspicion that any legislation that would be passed by Congress would likely lean favorably toward companies that already exist in the U.S. and conduct so-called “physical” gaming operations, over brands who have operated online and have pointed toward the U.S. Those companies, even those that have suffered from domain seizures, still have something valuable to deal, as they already have existing customer lists and active accounts with U.S. players.