Jim Murren sees Nev. and N.J. online gaming pact

Aug 12, 2013 6:09 PM

A joint online gaming market is the goal of Nevada and New Jersey gaming officials, Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International (MGM) told Reuters in an interview last week.

“I think it’s likely that in 2014 we’ll see a compact between New Jersey and Nevada,” Murren was quoted as saying.

Nevada, with its Ultimate Betting online poker operation, is the only state to offer pay-to-play online gaming but New Jersey has set Nov. 26 as the date it hopes to have regulations in place so the approved applicants can begin both poker and other gaming online activities.

A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, supported Murren’s statement by pointing to Nevada’s focus on developing compacts with other states.

“Nevada is striving to do what it can in regards to compacts.” He added, “however, the state is being very cautious in its research and evaluation of such compact agreements.”

A New Jersey spokesman said his state was “currently focused” on helping the licensed casinos reach the level needed for online gaming approval.

Successful European online gaming operators continue to seek partnerships with New Jersey licensees so they will be ready for the Nov. 26 starting date. Last week, the Tropicana Casino and Resort, part of a group of gambling properties owned by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, announced it had selected Gamesys Limited, as its Internet partner.

The Trop became the ninth New Jersey casino to announce Internet plans. The others are expected to follow suit within the next few weeks.

The U.K.’s giant 888 Holdings, one of the world’s largest online gaming providers, noted it had formed a partnership with Caesars Entertainment Corp. However, the company also plans to offer its products independently.

“We are providing the platform for Caesars but we are providing the one-stop shop that 888 is renowned for across Europe,” said CEO Brian Mattingley. He added he was working with gaming regulators in Nevada and Delaware, as well.

Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.

Contact Ray at [email protected].

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