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Steve Wynn on Internet Gambling: “We Just Can’t Limp in Like Another Screen”

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Some interesting insights from the Wynn brain trust regarding the company’s approach to regulated online gambling emerged during an earnings call last week.

Wynn has yet to launch a product in Nevada’s regulated market for online poker. But Wynn is expected to be present in the New Jersey market – despite not owning a physical casino property in the state – thanks to a partnership with 888 and Caesars.

Wynn is taking a wait-and-see approach to online gambling

Both Steve Wynn and Wynn CFO Matthew Maddox made it clear that online gambling remained – at least for now – a secondary concern for the company.

“We’ve got our toe in the water,” said Wynn. “We want our shareholders to benefit from digital gaming in one form or another if it’s to become a factor that’s powerful. But we have to take one step at a time.”

Maddox echoed the sentiment, stating that online gambling is “clearly not a big piece of the Wynn strategy.”

“We are entering the market,” Maddox continued, “with our toe in the water to make sure that we learn as this rolls out or does not rollout.”

Social gambling part of the Wynn strategy

Social casino play – and revenues – have exploded over the last 18 months.

That growth hasn’t gone unnoticed by Wynn, who has yet to plant any real flag in the social gaming sphere.

Steve Wynn suggested that his company was exploring both traditional online gambling and social casino options, saying that “I think, we’re also going to consider the possibility of social gaming for — virtual gaming, because its probably time for us to take care of all that at once.”

Transferring the Wynn brand online presents a unique hurdle

How do you export the grandeur and opulence of the Wynn live casino experience to a screen that measures a few square inches?

The puzzle posed by that question is one that Wynn has apparently yet to solve. But it’s also a prerequisite to the company increasing their involvement in the online gambling space.

As Steve Wynn put it: “We also got to make sure that if we do it, we protect our brand. We just can’t limp in like another screen. We got to be special. That’s a challenge.”

Transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha. Image: Rakkandee /

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Chris Grove
- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.