While Delaware has created the first full online casino in America, one high profile casino’s CEO isn’t convinced that the move will help casinos recover at all. Dover Downs CEO Ed Sutor is convinced that by treating internet gaming in the same way as brick and mortar casinos, the government is going to reduce any positive impact the move could have.
“We can’t afford to hire a full staff and market the hell out of it if there’s no opportunity for a profit or a revenue sharing,” said Sutor. “It’s generally understood that something has to be done, that you can’t treat internet gaming the same way you do bricks-and-mortar gaming.”
With casino revenue falling across the country, American gambling laws were changed to allow online gambling earlier this year, and Delaware has become the first to take full advantage of the changes. Their new free play Facebook based casino offers players the chance to try out the games before the launch of the full, real cash casino later this year.
Yet Sutor sees another use for the online casinos: as a marketing tool. The Dover Downs CEO expanded: “We’re going to bonus you or send you an offer that will require you to come back here to Dover Downs and thereby hopefully gaining a loyal, regular casino customer.”
He also noted that most customers were in their 50’s. While this latest piece of gambling news might reach their ears, Sutor feels their unlikely to take advantage of the internet, saying that “they love the personal touch”.
With Nevada, New Jersey, and now California all due to follow Delaware’s lead, the online gambler is sure to have more choice soon. Yet it remains to be seen if the strict rules and regulations laid down by the federal government actually lead to any real income for the casinos involved.