Harrah’s moves into UK Gambling via Internet

Harrah’s Entertainment and a London-based online betting company announced a contract that will help the casino giant enter the UK’s online casino market with its Caesars Casino and World Series of Poker brands.

888 Holdings will provide Harrah’s with online poker betting and casino service, including payment and customer services.

Financial terms of the contract were not available, although 888 Holdings described it as a “multimillion-dollar” deal.

Friday’s announcement is the latest in a series of moves by Harrah’s to position itself online abroad, and the company hopes, in the USA Casino internet Market.

The company announced in May it had hired former online betting executive Mitch Garber as chief executive officer of Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, a new subsidiary overseeing Harrah’s efforts to expand its World Series of Poker brand online.

Garber was CEO of Gibraltar-based Partybetting, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and owns the popular PartyCasino and PartyPoker Internet sites.

Harrah’s also has backed legislation that was introduced in Congress that would allow Americans to play online casino games for money.

The proposed Internet Gambling Regulation, customer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009, which was introduced by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., would establish regulations to allow licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from inside the USA.

The bill was referred in June to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Firms were barred from operating Internet-betting services in the USA after Congress stopped credit card Firms from collecting payments to online gambling sites in October 2006.
888 Holdings, along with other online betting Firms, pulled out of the USA then. Half the company’s revenue came from U.S. clients, 888 said at the time.

888 Holdings’ top executive said its deal with Harrah’s could expand if the U.S. market opens up.
“It’s an amazing deal if the U.S. market opens up to online betting one day and it’s a good deal even if it’s Europe only,” 888 Holdings CEO Gigi Levy told Reuters. “We have more big American deals in the pipeline for the (888).”

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