|MGM MIRAGE is shutting the doors of its online casino, PLAYMGMMIRAGE.com, as of June 30, 2003.|
'We set out to prove that online casino gaming could be implemented with the same high standards of regulatory integrity as land-based operations,' said Terry Lanni, Chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE in a press release.
'We were successful in demonstrating a working model that provided the proper checks for jurisdictional control, age verification and the necessary security and responsible gaming measures required to function in a regulated market,' Mr. Lanni said.
The site launched in September 2001 for the purpose of developing an operational model that would prove that the industry could be managed to a high degree of regulation whilst still offering players an exciting gaming experience.
'Unfortunately, even in light of a successful working model, the legal and political climate in the U.S. and several countries around the world remains unclear. The fact is that millions of U.S. citizens currently participate in online gaming in an unregulated environment. We believe that a more sound and realistic public policy would be to regulate the activity and hold operators to the highest standards of probity and integrity. MGM MIRAGE Online has clearly established that the regulatory model works. In the meantime, millions of U.S. citizens who are currently playing casino games online every day must continue to do so without the protections provided by common sense regulations that we believe should be implemented. The day will clearly arrive when this activity will be legalized and regulated and we will participate fully at that time…We have proven critics wrong who said that online gaming could never be properly regulated. We greatly appreciate the efforts of our staff who have paved the way for the implementation of a regulatory structure from a technological perspective. We simply have to wait for the political climate to change and reality to set in,' Mr. Lanni said.