|For the second time in 16 months, Las Vegas City Council has voted to back off from selling its name and seal to an online casino.|
This was after City Manager Virginia Valentine highlighted the risks of licensing and regulating a gambling-oriented Web site. She said that despite improvements in technology, there is no way to guarantee that minors would not have access, and it remains unclear whether Internet gaming is legal in the United States.
Mayor Oscar Goodman said that he would follow Valentine’s advice, but he wants the council to consider selling the Vegas name and seal again in the future, if the federal and state governments decide to legalise Internet gambling.
Valentine said she would reconsider only if The Nevada Commission and the Attorney General’s Office, who are studying online wagering, decide it is legal. A precedent-setting decision is expected next month.
Goodman said, “I am proceeding on behalf of the city to get ourselves in a position that, once these questions are answered, we’ll be able to latch on to the first ones who are put into cyberspace”.
He said he has met with “substantial Nevada gaming companies,” that are interested in using the city’s name and seal as part of an online casino. The companies, he said, have asked to remain anonymous.
“I’m dealing with some casinos right now who believe they will be at the front of the line on e they get the go-ahead,” he said.
The Australian based website Vegasone.com started the tussle in 2000 when they asked to use the city’s name and seal in exchange for a share of the profits.
The mayor wants to raise money as the city’s revenues continue to dwindle. Las Vegas officials have given wildly fluctuating estimates of how much money – ranging from $90 million to less than $1 million – they could raise by selling the Vegas name to an Internet concern.
Goodman said he won’t give up looking for new sources of revenue for the city, including the possibility of backing a state-wide lottery to raise money to serve the mentally ill.