Rumor Central: Harrah’s, Mitch Garber And The Future Of US Online Poker

A news story in last weekend’s Sunday Times (www.timesonline.co.uk) created quite a stir in the poker media recently, after the announcement that former PartyGaming CEO Mitch Garber had been hired by Harrah’s Entertainment, to head a new company in charge of Harrah’s future Internet operations.

The short article seemingly encouraged wild speculation that hiring Garber was a clear first step towards Harrah’s entering into the online gaming market, given Garber’s obvious expertise in that department. This speculation than gave way to more theories that Harrah’s must be positioning themselves for the soon to come regulation of US online poker, perhaps knowing something the rest of us don’t.

Harrah’s for their part, has thus far made it very clear that no official announcement has been made and in fact, according to a recent story in GamblingCompliance.com, has gone so far as to deny that Garber has even joined the company.

It seems Harrah’s may be interested in trying to put the metaphorical genie back in the bottle on this one, which at this point could be very hard to do.

PartyGaming’s recent US settlement announcement created a real spark that perhaps they were positioning themselves to get back into the US market. Add that spark to the general kindling regarding Barney Frank’s soon to be released bill, that will attempt to overturn the UIGEA- which apparently this time has significantly more support, and there’s just too much fuel for the fire that online poker could soon be legalized in the US to stop people from jumping to radical conclusions, regardless of the fact that there isn’t really a lot of actual, you know, proof.

Story by Mark Anderson