With the local market for domain names growing fast, it seems that the price tag of $100,000 for recently sold poker.com.au is well below its potential value.
While the sale of poker.com.au at a knock-down price of “only” US$100,000 to online gambling company 888 Holdings might be seen by many in the industry as a steal, there could be a longer term investment potential to that domain. Currently, Australian laws are very tight with regards to online gambling and any advertising related to it. This means that any website placed on that domain would not benefit from the potential advertising bonanza it could attract if the laws were less strict. This, according to experts is why the price for poker.com.au was well below its true value.
For example, the Canadian counterpart to that local domain, poker.ca sold last year for four times as much. This is because Canadian laws do not restrict online gambling advertising and so the owner of the website will get a good return on their investment in advertising fees.
The Australian legislation that prohibits any form of interactive gambling advertising is ten years old and there is mounting pressure on the government for the laws to be amended and brought up to date. The main reason for this is to reflect the way that modern gamblers go about their particular vice and the changes to the world of online gambling that has exploded in recent years. The theory amongst those who want the laws relaxed is that by allowing access to online poker websites, the government will earn a huge slice of the revenue generated by the industry in taxation. This revenue could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars a year, while from a legislative standpoint the industry can finally be regulated and Australian citizens protected from unregulated foreign operators who are siphoning those funds offshore, tax free.
So far, 888 Holdings, owners of the gambling website 888.com has not made use of poker.com.au for anything related to gambling. However, the company claims that there is a new and very exciting poker revolution coming soon, although what that revolution is has not been elaborated on as yet.
It appears that the new owners of poker.com.au have taken a gamble themselves that the Australian interactive gambling laws will change to allow the advertising that will bring in a return on their investment. Should this happen, then they will find themselves sitting on a domain that could suddenly quadruple or more in value overnight.
Full Tilt Poker Partners with Las Vegas Casino Group
Another prominent casino group from Las Vegas, Station Casinos Inc. jumped on the bandwagon and partnered with a top flight online operator, Full Tilt Poker.
In recent weeks we have already seen a big about turn for the once anti-online gambling Las Vegas casino owners as first Harrah’s, now trading as Caesars Entertainment have partnered with the UK’s 888 Holdings PLC, then Wynn Resorts joined the fray by partnering with prominent online poker operator PokerStars. Now a third big name Las Vegas casino group have joined the party as Station Casinos Inc. signed a partnership deal with the world’s largest online poker operator, Full Tilt Poker.
The reason given for the deal between Full Tilt Poker and owners of Station Casino, Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta who are also owners of the UFC and Zuffa Entertainment, is to put their weight behind backing the legalisation of online poker at the Federal level. In similar fashion to the stance by Caesars Entertainment, Fertitta Interactive is not in favour of the legalisation of online poker at the intrastate level because they firmly believe that control of all Internet based gambling would be better and more fairly controlled by the Federal government.
They see the future of Federal legislation in this area as being good for Nevada and benefit it financially. Nevada has long been the leader in running and controlling land based forms of gambling and know all about regulating gambling and working with the thousands of well paid technical jobs in the industry that would be created as a result. They are also keenly aware of the financial benefits not only to the country as a whole but also to Nevada that carefully planned legislation would generate in taxation and spin-off job creation.
It was not so long ago that all casino owners in Las Vegas were dead against allowing online gambling to be made legal in the United States. Those that believed it would create unfair competition for their businesses spent a lot of time, effort and money in lobbying to keep online gambling illegal. It appears that those hard headed business leaders have suddenly warmed to the idea that all those millions in lost revenue can be efficiently mopped up by the very businesses that have the expertise and know-how to take full advantage of the online side of gambling. Those casino owners have realised that gamblers are still pending millions of dollars at online casinos, so they may as well be spending it at online casinos owned and run by them.