Saturday November 2, 2013 : LAND GAMBLING CHIEF ON INTERNET GAMBLING
Murren talks about MGM plans in social and internet gambling
MGM Resorts International chairman and CEO Jim Murren had some interesting comments on social and internet gambling during his media conference on the release of his company's Q3-2013 results this week.
Murren said that on the social gaming scene MGM had a partnership with former Wynn Resorts executive Andrew Pascal, for whom he had a high regard. The partnership has formed MyVegas, a Facebook site that had produced good results in terms of usage and players redeeming their virtual prizes for real bricks and mortar rewards.
A mobile app was in the final stages of preparation and would be launched soon, Murren revealed.
Turning to intrastate online poker in Nevada, Murren reiterated his company's view that such a business confined to Nevada alone was likely not a profitable prospect due to the lack of player liquidity, and for that reason MGM has held off launching a site.
In addition, MGM had always favoured a federal rather state-by-state solution in online poker, Murren said, admitting that his optimism for federal legalization has substantially faded as Congress has failed to deliver.
"It looks to us that that’s all but a lost opportunity," he said.
Murren sounded more positive on the upcoming launch of New Jersey's wider online gambling market, saying:
"New Jersey is leading the charge for full-on games. That leads us to conclude that the best solution for our state is for Nevada to exert its rightful leadership as a regulatory jurisdiction; that it needs to have a full complement of games and be able to compact with other states to increase liquidity pools and increase overall visitation to all of the sites. I think that will happen."
MGM is well prepared for an entry into the New Jersey market through partnerships with Boyd Gaming and the experienced European online betting group Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, and Murren said that the partners intend to be active in the state-by-state regulatory process.
In related news, the Press of Atlantic City reported Friday that more than four dozen companies have received New Jersey state approval to begin working with casino licensees and Internet gambling permit holders.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released a list Friday that featured 54 companies who will be allowed to enter into agreements to provide ancillary services or act as vendors for Internet gambling.
New Jersey is preparing for a November 26 launch of intrastate online gambling, following a five-day trial period.
To date, five casinos have received New Jersey Internet gambling permits.