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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bedroom casino

Bingo, says Ron Burke, the company's top marketing executive: "If you turn on the TV, you'll see poker being played more and more. It's become a lot more mainstream. It's like the national pastime." He adds, "The exposure [of the stadium name] would be good for us, and the city would have baseball."

Not to pull a Linda Cropp here, but there might be a few flaws in this plan.

For starters, Empire isn't exactly forthcoming about the sources of its money ("We're private," says Burke). And while we're not lawyers or anything, we do recall that it's against the law to set up an online gambling business in the United States. That would explain why "North America's leading online poker site" is not actually headquartered anywhere near North America. Empire is based in Cyprus.

Empire hasn't heard back from baseball or city officials yet. But it's questionable whether Major League Baseball or the District government will want to get into business with a gambling company, let alone one headquartered somewhere in the Mediterranean (besides, the District has a lottery, so it already has its own gambling business, thank you).