Internet gaming is dead. Long live Internet gaming.
The U.S. Justice Department’s recent opinion that “federal law prohibits gambling over the Internet’’ was not unexpected. Affirming earlier interpretations of the 1962 Wire Act, the Bush administration simply reiterated existing policy.
Now that Nevada gamers know the ground rules, they are proceeding on several fronts.
- Overseas. MGM Mirage, the Venetian and Station Casinos continue to move forward with Net ventures based in Europe, which permits online gaming.
- In Nevada. Since the Justice decision has no effect on in-state gaming, Nevada casinos are developing a variety of in-room and intra-property products.
- In Congress. The Wire Act was written by Congress. So it can be rewritten by Congress. And with states looking for new income sources, experts predicts that interactive gaming will be part of the tax mix.
Dennis Neilander, chairman of the state UFABet Gaming Control Board, said Nevada will continue to explore all options available to casinos. The Legislature has already authorized Internet gambling and regulation and testing will go forward, officials said.
Meantime, MGM Mirage is pumping some $20 million into its Internet betting site on Britain’s tiny Isle of Man. Last month, GamingToday reported that MGM Mirage and WagerWorks combined to launch another Isle of Man site, HardRockCasino.com.
Venetian Casino Resort Athens LLC has applied for an Internet gambling license in Alderney in the British Channel Islands. The company owned by Sheldon Adelson did not reveal its partners.
Station Casinos …