|After investing millions of dollars to craft the first Internet gambling site operated by a major U.S. casino company, MGM MIRAGE will discontinue the site at the end of the month. It cited concerns that the legal and political climate for regulating online gambling remains uncertain. |
The mood in Congress, according to MGM spokesman Alan Feldman, has been one of “prohibition over reason”, alluding to which seems to be a recurring experiment in American politics that many are slow to learn from.
MGM MIRAGE introduced its site, playmgmmirage.com, in September 2001 and said it has shown that Internet gambling could be conducted under the same regulatory structure that addresses security, money-laundering and other concerns at land-based casinos. The site included verification technology that ensured that only credit cards from jurisdictions where online gambling was legal were accepted. However, the reasonable approach didn’t seem to work for them.
'In our ongoing dialogue with members of Congress, we found those discussions to be extremely disappointing with regard to the fact that the technology (to regulate Internet gambling) is there and that millions of people are gambling online every day,” added Feldman. 'It's been an interesting coalition of anti-gambling zealots and (lawmakers) who are either afraid of the technology or are unwilling to take the time to understand it.”
Lawmakers making political capital without understanding technology? Perish the thought…