Thursday September 5,2013 : COULD GOLDEN NUGGET CASINO'S ONLINE AMBITIONS ENCOURAGE MISSISSIPPI?
 
Nevada and New Jersey are the land casino's immediate targets.
 
The announcement by the Golden Nugget Casino management Wednesday that its plans include entering the online gambling sector in Nevada and New Jersey  has triggered speculation that the decision could encourage a more progressive approach to the pastime by Mississippi legislators.
 
The Clarion Ledger newspaper notes that never-say-die Mississippi Representative Bobby Moak has taken several runs at legalization in the state legislature, but has so far been rebuffed.
 
However, the fact that a major land casino group with interests in Biloxi is moving in the online gambling direction through Nevada and New Jersey could trigger a more responsive approach among Moak's colleagues, the newspaper speculates.
 
The company plans to debut its thrust into internet and mobile gambling through the websites GoldenNuggetPoker.com and GoldenNuggetCasino.com at its two Nevada casinos and one in Atlantic City, N.J., this fall, but the current hostile stance of Mississippi lawmakers has meant that the company currently has no plans to bring the pastime to Mississippi through the Golden Nugget in Biloxi.
 
Moak's proposals suggested regulating, licensing and taxing online gaming at 5 percent of gross revenue. Online gaming licenses would be allowed only to gaming companies that already have land licenses to operate in Mississippi.
 
The Clarion Ledger speculates that a brand like Golden Nugget publicly backing online wagering could lead lawmakers in states like Mississippi to at least further study the possibilities.
 
"If Golden Nugget is successful with online gaming in Nevada and New Jersey, and if its competitors see similar returns, it could become much more difficult to keep online gaming from ultimately being legalized and regulated in Mississippi," the newspaper observes, noting that over the past ten years a number of Midwest and Great Lakes states have bumped Mississippi down the gaming pecking order.
 
"Is online gaming the way forward?" the newspaper asks, opining that it could be. "Could Golden Nugget’s move prompt more discussion on the issue in Mississippi? It’s practically a sure bet," it concludes.