The giant Vegas-based MGM Mirage gambling group would get involved in online gambling as quickly as it could if the United States legalised the online gambling market, a senior company exec told a newspaper journalist earlier this week.

Senior Vice President Alan Feldman told journo Tom Somach of the San Francisco Chronicle that it was likely that the other major gambling groups in the American industry would do the same, and that his own group could be up and running online within a year of being given a green light.

Feldman appeared in the interview to support the efforts of Congressman Barney Frank to legalise online gambling in the USA by licensing and strictly regulating it under the proposed Bill HR 2046 the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act.

MGM Mirage is no stranger to the online milieu, having started a website under Isle of Man regulation some years ago which it subsequently closed. Feldman said that the enterprise had failed because it was competing for only 30 percent of the market, and was therefore not generating sufficient profit.

"But with the U.S. market under Frank's proposal, it could be profitable," he declared.

The online gambling business environment in the United States is currently hostile, with Department of Justice prosecutions and a ban on Internet gambling transactions passed last year. The financial disruption initiated by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act has made it difficult for American players to pursue their pastime of choice within their own homes.