Las Vegas Sands heads for the UK

Las Vegas Sands, the biggest casino company by market value, has signed a deal with Cantor Gaming to open an online casino and poker website in the U.K. News of the deal resulted in a 6.5 percent rise in the value of shares in Las Vegas Sands Corporation yesterday. Cantor Gaming, an affiliate of the financial services company Cantor Fitzgerald, already has an existing mobile and internet casino as well as a spread betting firm. 

The website, which is expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2007, will utilise the companies existing brands, The Venetian, Sands, Palazzo and Paiza, and feature classic casino games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, slots and poker. The website will not accept U.S players after the recent Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed and illustrates an example of the change in strategy U.S-based online casino operators must adopt.

"This is another opportunity for our company to create greater awareness of our global brands and further establish our presence and interest in the UK market," Las Vegas Sands Chief Operating Officer Bill Weidner said in a statement.

It’s not the first time a Vegas big wig has planned to take the UK market by storm under the false pretence that their brand carries weight with the Brits. Vegas giant MGM  tried the same thing in 2001 and lasted all of two years and failed miserably to make as much as a dent in the market.

Initially, the website will focus on the U.K market with a view to expanding the brand further into Europe, where regular online gamblers stake approximately £3.5 billion a year, according to UK government figures.

Cantor Gaming is a relatively unknown outside of the close nit spread betting sector and is seen by many as not being a savvy internet operator. Whether it can show its hand and be on a par with the likes of 32 Red, Intercasino and other UK brands will remain to be seen but don’t hold your breath.

Editor, - 2006-12-05 11:27:02

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