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Binion’s jumps into the Internet, for fun

Dec 17, 2002 4:58 AM

   Internet gaming experts are hailing Binion’s new “play-for-fun” website.

   “It’s a very important and positive step. Because Binion’s owns the world’s leading gaming tournament, the potential on the Net is just phenomenal,’’ says Richard Fitzpatrick, director of the Interactive Gaming Institute.

   The renowned Downtown club has offered an informational website for years and broadcasts an Internet feed of the annual World Series of Poker. The new interactive games will allow the casino to gather e-mail addresses for future marketing, says Binion’s information technology guru Federico Schiavio.

   “It’s hard to think of an activity that has greater potential to turn the World Series of Poker into truly a w-o-r-l-d series for people all over the globe,’’ Fitzpatrick told GamingToday.

   “They (Binion’s) will build a database and learn along the way,’’ said Fitzpatrick, who also heads the Global Institute for Gaming Innovation.

   Though Binion’s owner Becky Behnen wasn’t available for comment, industry experts say the new site is a win-win proposition for the casino. “It’s a safe, inexpensive play that doesn’t run afoul of federal or state regulations,’’ said one.

   Some see the move as a potential lure for web-savvy entrepreneurs.

   “It would be a natural for some smart Internet company to license this worldwide. The (Binion’s) name has real value,’’ noted one analyst who requested anonymity.

   Access Gaming Systems of Ireland is managing Binion’s simulated casino. The site is hosted from a computer server in Australia.