|MGM Mirage is one of 11 applicants competing for a license to run an online casino site in the Isle of Man, where online gambling was recently legalized. |
MGM Mirage would become the first major casino to open an actual play-for-real site where money is exchanged over the Internet, despite the fact that it is physically based in Nevada, where Internet gambling still occupies a legal gray area.
Three licenses will be issued in September, With MGM Mirage being a favorite to collect one of them. Alan Feldman, the spokesman for MGM Mirage said that they were not the only American company involved in the proceedings, commenting, “We are under the impression that several major American companies have applied.”
Feldman also mentioned the issue of regulation in Nevada saying, “Across the board, we let everyone of them (the regulators) know that we were submitting an application. We wanted them all not to be surprised by that.”
Most of the major casinos have stayed away from online gaming due to the legal implications involved; regulators in Nevada are still discussing the pros and cons of a full-scale legalization, despite the proliferation of offshore sites available to U.S gamers. MGM Mirage, who have casinos in Nevada, Michigan, Mississippi, South Africa and Australia will be seen to have taken a major step for online gaming, even if all they have proved is that offshore sites make an American ban unworkable.
Financial protection for gamers and security against underage users is something that MGM Mirage and the Isle of Man are working together to implement. The new site will also not be available to those who live in areas where online casinos are illegal.
Feldman stressed that this was the only application that MGM Mirage were making, saying, “But no other applications, besides the one in the Isle of Man, are pending.”