One of the most interesting trends that’s developing in poker right now is all of the online poker sites that are aligning with casinos to create websites. 888Poker and Caesars Entertainment were the first two major companies to form a pact, and this deal will see 888 and Caesars eventually running a website when/if online poker is regulated in the US. In addition to this pact, PokerStars recently made a deal with the Wynn, while Full Tilt Poker is said to be working with Station Casinos on a potential site.
What’s interesting about all of these sudden alliances is that land-based casinos were vehemently opposed to internet poker in the early and mid-2000’s. So why the change of heart now?
As you probably guessed, it’s not because land-based casino owners are suddenly more interested in playing online poker themselves. Instead, it all has to do with money since land-based casinos suddenly see the light, and are willing to embrace internet poker rather than fighting against it.
Besides realizing they can earn all kinds of extra revenue with online poker, other benefits of joining the online poker craze for land-based casinos is that they can funnel lots of new visitors to their poker events. For example, a new site between 888Poker and Caesars can run lots of promotions that would bring players to Caesars’ tournaments. Suddenly, their dinky WSOP Circuit events would attract a lot of new potential players.
Of course, this all hinges on whether or not online poker is ever legalized within the US. After all, these deals between online poker rooms and land-based casinos are merely writing on paper until the UIGEA gets lifted. And for the first time in a while, land-based casinos are on board with the rest of us in hoping that this actually happens.