Harrah's Teams Up With 888. Is this the First Stage for the US Online Casino Market Opening Up?

Posted on September 13th, 2009

One of the Las Vegas big casino gorillas, Harrah’s Entertainment (who own Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas) has just announced that it is getting into bed with 888 for a UK launch of Caesar’s Casino online in the UK.  This could be a first indication of how the big Las Vegas brands would run online casino operations in the US should the market open up as many observers are expecting.

Harrah’s is leasing the online software from 888 Casino’s software development subsidiary Dragonfish which suggests, in the short term at least, that the big guns in the offline market will turn to the Internet experts when launching their products.

The move is a huge win for 888- 888 shares surged 14 percent on news of the agreement, and seems to vindicate their decision to develop the business to business side of the market.

Although Harrah’s is concentrating on online casino markets outide of the USA, most see this as a preparatory move to get their ducks in a row should online casinos win regulatory approval in the future.

Dragonfish is 888’s B2B division and it will supply Harrah’s with poker and online casino games. The companies are expected to launch a World Series of Poker site and an online Caesars Casino which are Harrah’s strongest brands.

The deal also make sense for 888. If the US market eases up in the future, Harrahs will be a useful partner to have as they have so many lobbying contacts in the States. A powerful friend indeed. Gigi Levy, CEO of 888, expects to complete more US deals going forward.

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