Caesar’s Considers Going Digital as Oregon Man Wins Big

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Colorful lights reflecting off the Willamette River in Downtown Portland, Oregon
Colorful lights reflecting off the Willamette River in Downtown Portland, Oregon. Source: Depositphotos

As Vegas wins go, it may not be the biggest of all time, but for one lucky Oregon man, it promises to change his life forever.

Michael Hayes landed a win of just over $377,000 while playing Three Card Poker at The Cromwell, a Caesar’s establishment on Las Vegas strip. 

The win is the latest in a string of big successes at Caesar’s properties this year, as the company considers expanding its digital gaming arm and separating it from its bricks-and-mortar establishments. 

The latest in a line of big wins

Hayes’ win wasn’t the first to hit one of Caesar’s Vegas venues this year. 

The Flamingo Las Vegas casino has seen three other big wins in October alone. First came a $187,542 win with a royal flush during a Let it Ride Poker game, followed by another one during Crazy-4 poker later that month: that one topped $288,000.

None of these wins were the biggest of the year, though. That honour fell to Brent Weiss, a local resident, who hit a jackpot of $465,945 with a royal flush in a Mississippi Stud Poker game at the Flamengo Las Vegas casino. 

When you consider just how rare it is for players to land such big hauls, it’s amazing how so many have arrived within a short space of time. While still extremely unlikely, these jackpots help add to the allure of land-based casinos for players, as they tend to be better publicised than online wins. 

It hasn’t stopped many of these casinos, however, consider adapting to the ever-increasing shift towards digital games.


Why casinos are going digital

As well as 2022 being a year of big wins, it’s also been a time for Caesar’s executives to mull over a shift toward digital practices. 

Online casinos offer gambling companies many opportunities in the digital era. One of the top advantages is a much wider player pool which they can target with special promotions. Players may not get the excitement of an in-person experience online, but being able to claim something from a best ‘no deposit casino bonuses 2023’ list is a sure-fire way to get their attention (and custom). 

Internet sites are also cheaper to operate, requiring less in staff salaries, energy costs, and general maintenance. 

It’s enough to make Caesar’s Entertainment executives discuss it in great detail. In November, it was reported that they were open to the idea of spinning off its digital gaming unit if it led to higher shareholder value. This would also include Caesar’s Sportsbook, the sports betting arm of the business. 

CEO Tim Reeg has spoken of how tying a digital arm to the existing brick-and-mortar business would be a ‘huge competitive advantage’ for Caesars after two years of poor digital performance. In the quarter ending September 2022, its digital arm lost $38 million, despite revenue more than doubling, to go on top of an annual loss of $164 million the previous year. 

That said, many within the company expect digital operations to start earning profit over the next year, hence talk of merging it with land-based operations.


The future of the USA online gambling industry

Caesar’s change of plans come at a convenient time. The US online gambling market is growing rapidly following key legislation changes across several states. 

In states such as New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, online gambling market growth has been in the double figures throughout 2021 and 2022, with the latter two both set to generate between $11 and $12 billion by the end of 2023. 

Nationwide, the projected annual figure looks to surpass the $100 billion mark for the first time in history, as new markets such as Arizona scramble to keep up with the big players. 

Not all is rosy, though. Some of the nation’s more mature markets may reach their ceiling over the next few years if regulation changes don’t come in. Many European countries have much more robust regulation, which means players there can expect to play safely with many of their consumer rights protected. 

That said, there have never been more online casinos and sports bettors for US players to choose from. If Caesar’s Entertainment joins their ranks, there’ll be even more options to choose from, and possibly more big wins like the one enjoyed by Michael Hayes.





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