01/16/2012 : 2012 could be the year internet poker becomes a real force in the USA, says Murren
With any story based on the US Department of Justice change of policy on online gambling attracting media headlines , it’s not surprising that comments by MGM Resorts International CEO James Murren generated plenty of column inches this week.
Interviewed on CNBC, the land gambling exec confidently asserted that the DoJ's admission that the Wire Act applied only to sports betting set the scene for the passage of legalization bills.
Murren went so far as to predict: "Internet gaming is going to pass here in 2012 in the United States."
What Murren was not so sure about was whether legalization will be on a state-by-state basis or through the federal route he and other land moguls favour.
"It should be at the federal level, because that's where we can best regulate, prevent fraud, prevent underage gambling and get rid of the illegal gaming sites that still exist today with one uniform regulatory framework," Murren said.
"If the federal government fails to act, state after state after state will approve Internet poker and it will proliferate on that basis."
Murren's company has much to gain from legalization as a prime mover, thanks to its recent deal with the European online gambling giant Bwin.Party.digital entertainment.
Assessing the potential, Murren commented: "It will be a multi-billion dollar business. It will be hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue to us as a company, billions to the industry, and it will happen this year."