As the country moves toward online gambling, either through Congressional approval or by the entry of individual states, some entrepreneurs have been anticipating the expansion by preparing vehicles that would make them a part of the movement.
One such individual is Andrew Pascal.
With two Las Vegas experiences behind him, that of a casino executive at the Golden Nugget and later as president and chief operating officer of the two Wynn Resorts properties on the Strip, Pascal has a gaming background that places him in a forward position when it comes to anticipating the country’s mood toward gambling.
And, with experience in the Silicon Valley, where he developed and later sold Silicon Gaming, Pascal knows the importance of technology and its involvement with the future.
So it was no surprise he would develop, through a new Silicon Valley company called PlayStudios, an applications platform that combines traditional slot machine play with elements of social gaming, which Zynga made popular on Facebook.
With funding assistance from MGM Resorts International, Pascal’s company has developed an app called myVegas. The app permits players to accumulate comps and rewards, such as free rooms and buffets, for gambling with play chips.
Recently, in an interview with Andy Vuong of the Denver Post, Josh Swissman, vice president of corporate marketing for MGM, said, “The mobile launch (of myVegas) has exceeded everyone’s expectations. We’re in the millions of downloads now. Just a few weeks ago, it was the No. 1 casino application in the iTunes App store. It was the No. 8 overall game application. And we got it as high as No. 14 for all apps overall in the entire iTunes app ecosystem.”
The reason for the Denver Post interest in Pascal’s myVegas is because the State of Colorado is strongly considering entering the online gaming field. In its most recent legislative session, Colorado’s lawmakers reviewed a bill that would authorize Internet poker. Nothing came about but another push for Internet poker, or even a full gambling slate, is expected in the next legislative session.
Officials have taken notice that the Pascal technology platform can easily be converted from non-gambling to real money play.
Like other states, Colorado could use the revenue online gambling would generate. Thus, state officials are closely monitoring Internet gambling currently in play in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
Many believe California will be the next state to approve Internet gambling but Colorado might not be far behind.
Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.
Contact Ray at [email protected].