Monday May 4,2015 : MAJOR LAND CASINO GROUP "WHOLEHEARTEDLY OPPOSED" TO FEDERAL ONLINE GAMBLING BAN.
MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren clarifies recent comments on RAWA.
MGM Resorts chief executive (and, incidentally, chairman of the AGA) Jim Murren nailed his colours firmly to the mast on the question of a US federal online gambling ban over the weekend, saying that his company "wholeheartedly opposes" the proposed Restoration of America's Wire Act, a bill supported by rival Sheldon Adelson.
Murren was clarifying his comment in a recent media interview that the "the sky wouldn't fall" for his company if a federal online gambling ban was approved by Congress, which was interpreted in some quarters as an indication that MGM was softening its support for internet gambling.
The clarifying statement was made to the respected gambling blogger Jon Ralston, who published the following full comment from Murren on his Ralston Reports website:
"Of course the sky won’t fall on us if an online gambling ban passes. Anybody who thinks that hasn’t visited one of MGM’s destination resorts. That’s the point: The argument that online gaming somehow competes with land-based casinos is simply baseless. Online gaming and land-based casinos are completely different experiences.
"But even though our company will continue to thrive without online gaming doesn’t mean that we don’t wholeheartedly oppose a ban. We do. As I said in the interview, the Internet is here to stay. And until there is a licensed, US-based alternative, illegal overseas sites will continue to put consumers at risk.
"A federal ban won’t stop online gaming – it will only prevent licensed, legitimate operators from providing consumers with safe and secure games that include protections against underage gambling."
Murren's group, whilst supportive of strictly regulated and licensed online gambling in the United States, has been cautious in regard to its own commercial participation in the three US regulated markets of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
MGM owns fifty percent of Borgata's successful venture in the New Jersey internet gambling sector, where it is leading the market at present. MGM also has an online poker licence in Nevada, which it has not yet pursued in a business sense, and it has so far not participated in the Delaware market.