LAS VEGAS -- (AP) Playboy Enterprises Inc., Microsoft Corp. and
Viacom Inc. have already placed their bets on Internet gambling
beating out established gambling giants like Park Place Entertainment
and Harrah's Entertainment.
have already established virtual casinos outside the U.S., where
Internet gambling isn't prohibited.
That means Las
Vegas-based casino corporations have a tight window to get in on
the game before losing out to more nongambling companies, industry
experts said Thursday at the first Interactive Gaming Exposition
is inevitable. It's here. If you think time is on your side, it's
not," said Sebastian Sinclair, gambling industry analyst and vice
president of Christensen Capitol Advisors. "The next 12 months are
it. If you don't, other companies will come to dominate this market."
June approved a bill enabling Nevada to become the first state in
the nation to offer Internet gambling. Federal law currently bars
Internet gambling, but state officials say court challenges could
change the federal government's position.
met with technology developers of proposed online casinos, Nevada
gambling regulators and Wall Street analysts to discuss the future
of Internet gambling at an Internet Gaming Conference held at the
Bellagio hotel-casino September 26-28. The conference, sponsored
by the nonprofit Interactive Gaming Institute of Nevada and Bear
MGM Mirage just recently secured a license for Internet gaming on
the Isle of Man.
said a recent survey shows 30% of all adults gamble online and they
lose an average of $960 a year compared to land-based gamblers who
spend $511 annually at brick-and-mortar casinos and on lotteries.
praised MGM Mirage, the largest owner of Las Vegas Strip properties,
for taking the lead and being the first major gambling company to
obtain an offshore gaming license on the Isle of Man, an island-nation
off the coast of Great Britain that is establishing regulations
for the industry
MGM Mirage spokesman
Alan Feldman said it will probably be a year before the regulatory
structure is established and sites are operational.
[MGM Mirage chief executive] is going to eat everyone's lunch,"
Mr. Sinclair said.