As noted in the Cardplayer Lifestyle poker blog a few weeks back, many companies, including PokerStars, Caesars Entertainment, and Zynga, are positioning themselves to be ready for legalization of online poker in the U.S. At the end of that article, I wrote that “surely others are likely to follow suit”. Little did I realize that someone would not only “follow suit”, but that the suit would be trump. Donald Trump.
Most people who hear the name Donald Trump juxtaposed with casino-style gaming naturally think of the Trump properties in Atlantic City. What many are unaware of, however, is that Donald Trump himself has officially been out of the gaming industry since early 2009, when he quit the Trump Entertainment Board of Directors.
Never one to miss out on a potential opportunity to score big bucks, however, Trump has announced that he will be part of a larger group of investors preparing to enter the U.S. online poker market upon legalization. The other members of the co-venture are the Avenue Capital Group and Trump Entertainment (which itself is co-owned by the Avenue Capital Group and Donald Trump). Sound a little confusing? Let me clear it up for you:
Bottom line – A large, well-financed company (Avenue), which is owned by a hedge fund manager who also happens to be a poker enthusiast (Marc Lasry), will essentially be harnessing the power of the Trump name and brand to try and carve out a slice of the market for online poker in the United States.
The new, yet-to-be-named venture (Trumponlinepoker.com?) would be prepared to offer online poker at either a state or federal level, depending on where legislation eventually allows, with the gaming licenses themselves to be supplied by Trump Entertainment.