MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO, Jim Murren, is confident that regulation of online gambling will be introduced in the U.S. in 2012, either at a state or a federal level. Murren's predictions were made in an interview with CNBC on Friday night.
Regulation of online gambling will happen in the U.S. in 2012, MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO, Jim Murren, has told CNBC in an interview on Friday night.
The MGM boss appeared on the TV channel's "Squawk on The Street" segment to discuss the latest development in the global gambling industry, including the outlook for upcoming regulation in the U.S.
Murren was asked about his views on the outlook of U.S. regulation, following a new legal opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice on the interpretation of the Wire Act.
According to the opinion sent out by the department, the Wire Act - which again is key in the UIGEA act of 2006 - does only apply to online sports betting, and this will likely send waves of regulation through the American market, Murren said.
"It means that internet gaming will pass in the United States in 2012. We are not sure of the contours of the deal, which are unclear right now. We don't know yet whether it will happen on a federal level, or on a state-by-state basis," Murren said, adding that he would prefer regulation to be introduced at a federal level.
"The scenario is limited to regulation of internet poker, and it should be happening on a federal level, because it is here that we can best regulate, prevent fraud and underage gambling and get rid of the illegal gambling sites that are still around," he said.
"If the federal government fails to act, state by state by state will introduce intrastate gambling, which will create a big market, but it will be more on a patchwork basis, and less clear," he added.
The MGM boss further revealed that he believes several U.S. companies will benefit from the multibillion dollar business, including MGM, which he predicts will be a "very large company" in the sector.