Though it is not nearly as reliant on the Internet for its growth as many a business is today, Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN ) continues to build outs its Web presence and set up for a future in online gaming. As Nevada's just-legalized online gaming community begins its life, European online gambling giant 888 Holdings (LSE: 888 ) has inked a deal with the iconic Wynn to launch and manage Wynn-branded sites. The deal comes at the same time that Wynn has announced it will be utilizing computers in a competitor's casino in New Jersey to launch an online gambling business in that state as well. As federal and state regulators figure out how to manage the relatively new industry, the big casino players are lining up to tap into what could be a near $8 billion business.
Ready to roll
The gaming industry appears to be at the beginning of a major growth phase, both physically and on the Web. With Macau growth figures still well into the teens, the massive development on the Cotai peninsula, and the United States' foray into legal online gambling, there are more than enough ways for the companies to reach more customers and risk-takers than ever before.
Wynn Resorts is one of the best in the business, run by the man who essentially conceived the modern Las Vegas strip. The company has a substantial presence in Macau, and is building a $4 billion resort in Cotai, due to open in 2016.
One of the company's latest maneuvers takes place in the state of New Jersey, where Wynn owns no casino. However, under direction of state regulators to allow gaming companies to partner up and spur the limp-wristed industry, Wynn is putting servers inside of Caesars Entertainment's casino in Atlantic City in order to capitalize on the state's entrance into online gambling -- a business recently made legal in Nevada and likely to find its way into more and more states hungry for additional tax revenues.
As mentioned, Wynn is working with 888 Holdings -- a company emerging as one of the biggest players in the U.S. online gambling business. Wynn will use the company's software and support in Nevada, and in New Jersey as well.
A wonderful business
The biggest threat to online gambling has been regulation. The business itself is wonderful -- many of the upsides of physical casinos without the multibillion-dollar expense to build and manage one.
Now, as some states in the U.S. have clarified the murky business, it is all in for the gaming companies. With Wynn aggressively positioning itself to bank on all of these emerging (yet domestic) markets, investors can expect to see the results padding overall bottom lines.
Besides the well-known casino owners, investors could also look at the London Stock Exchange-listed 888 Holdings. The company is not only working with Wynn, but with Casesars' new WSOP.com website. On its own, 888 is the third largest online poker company in the world. Over the past year, the stock is up more than 80%.
Wherever you place your bet, online gambling is shaping up to be a winner for the house.
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