MGM CEO Predicts Nevada/New Jersey Online Gaming Compact in 2014
On Tuesday, Reuters reported that there is a potential gambling compact in the works between Nevada and New Jersey, and it could go into effect as early as 2014. MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren told Reuters that the company is working with Nevada officials to create a joint online gaming market.
“I think it’s likely that in 2014 we’ll see a compact between New Jersey and Nevada,” Murren said. “We’ve really been focusing on Nevada’s ability to compact with other states, create more liquidity.”
Murren has contended that Nevada has too small of an online market, and the raw numbers bare that out. According to the 2012 United States Census, Nevada has a population of 2.759 million. New Jersey is home to 8.865 million.
A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, echoed Murren’s sentiments.
“Nevada is striving to do what it can in regards to compacts,” he told Reuters. “We do not jump into the fire without having done a lot of cautious research and study into the particulars of such agreements, and that phase is nearing completion.
Along with a possible compact between the Garden State and the Silver State, Murren admitted that his company has dedicated a team to its online efforts. MGM has already partnered with bwin.party and Boyd Gaming (owner of the Borgata in New Jersey) to provide real-money gaming in the U.S.
“We have a big team that is preparing us on a state-by-state basis and on the states that we believe will be the most productive,” he said. “I think at least 40 of the 50 states are in some stage of debating this [online gambling] internally. The ones most visible are New Jersey, New York State, Illinois, and California.”
In April, Nevada became the first state to launch legal, regulated online gaming with the opening of Ultimate Poker. Caesars is preparing to launch WSOP.com in the state as well. New Jersey is gearing up for an industry-wide online gambling launch on Nov. 26. At the end of July, 37 companies applied for internet gambling licenses in the Garden State.
Photos courtesy of LasVegasFreeComps.com and aecom.com