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If ever there was a sign from within an industry as to where they believe their industry is heading, it is gambling in the US. Foxwoods becomes the second major name in US gaming to make their move into the online gambling market.
Foxwoods Development Company is partnering with Goodson Gaming, an entertainment and television company, on an Internet gambling venture. The idea at first will be to start offering services in jurisdictions where Internet gambling is regulated, but many inside the industry are already wondering whether this is just a move for Foxwoods to position themselves in case law changes occur in the US.
“Velocity Gaming brings together industry leaders in gaming, television game show production, and global lotteries in order to produce an unparalleled combination that will generate product awareness, drive incremental game play, and create new and exciting customer experiences in the Interactive gaming world,” said Foxwoods Development, in a statement on their new venture.
Foxwoods was one of the pioneers in the casino gambling industry in the Northeast. The industry has experienced a boom in recent years, with New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and even Maine adding new casinos in that time period. Foxwoods, which is run by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, has their facility in Connecticut.
Last year, when the economy was hurting the casino industry, Foxwoods partnered with Mohegan Sun on a billboard campaign along the New Jersey Turnpike. The campaign was aimed at pulling gamblers away from Atlantic City, to the casinos in Connecticut. Now, the Connecticut casinos have much more competition than just New Jersey.
Harrah’s Entertainment became the first US-based gaming company to go into the Internet gambling business. Harrah’s has launched several online casinos in jurisdictions where Internet gambling is regulated. The two companies both understand the discussions taking place in Washington regarding online gambling.
Representative Barney Frank has proposed legislation that would overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act this past summer, and the bill made it through the House Financial Services Committee. The legislation likely will stall there, however, with Republicans taking control of the House. Representative Spencer Bacchus, a staunch opponent of Internet gambling, could become the new chair of the committee in the new year.