Casino Corporations Hooking Up at Epic Pace

by , Feb 20, 2012 | 4:30 am

There’s a corporate rush like something that hasn’t been seen for a while in the casino industry — to secure and develop poker-related assets. After the Department of Justice’s quiet reinterpretation of the 1961 Wire Act, and subsequent political buzz it created , corporate gaming partners jumped into bed together faster than you can change a relationship status on Facebook.

• Kentucky-based horse racing and casino company Churchill Downs acquires the assets of Bluff Media.

• Caesars Entertainment extends its partnership with 888 Holdings.

• MGM, Boyd Gaming, and BwinParty looking for a wild poker three-way.

• Vegas-based ShuffleMaster dangling diamonds in front of OnGame Network.

• Pinnacle Entertainment in acquisition talks with newly formed Epic Poker League.

• Golden Nugget partners up with ChiliGaming for online poker.

What’s next? Will Pokerati be getting a bid from Palms Casino Resort?

Many got rich during the original “boom years”, but brick and mortar gaming corporations for the most part saw only incremental benefits from the growth of online poker. Who can forget Steve Lipscomb’s bitter open letter to the poker community, portraying the World Poker Tour as a jilted lover in a new poker world he helped create. (A world where his company failed to turn a profit while offshore online poker companies prospered was clearly unjust!)

WPT wasn’t the only one missing out on the majority of spoils from online poker’s first post-Moneymaker explosion. The recent deal-making frenzy suggests American casino corporations want to be the early adopters of PokerBoom 2.0. With partners in hand, casinos won’t be the wallflowers should the music start up for another “Moneymaker moment.”

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