Nevada Players Are Ready to Go

6 June 2001

A collective buzz has come over the interactive gaming industry on the heels of the Nevada Legislature passing a bill that will legalize online gaming.

A virtual who's who of the online gaming industry is gathering in Toronto this week at the Global Interactive Gaming Summit & Expo, produced by the River City Group. While those who have been in the online gaming industry for some time are excited about the potential of the new law in Nevada, it's the traditional land-based gaming companies that could change the face of Internet casinos.

At least five major land-based casino companies were represented at the event and some of them admitted the Internet is a key part of their companies' future plans. An official from one of the bigger properties on the strip, who wished to be anonymous, said his company has done more than just think about online casinos.

"We are a lot further along in that process that people realize," he said. "We could launch with a live, online casino next week if we wanted to. We have the technology in place, but we aren’t going to take that step until we know that all of our bases are covered."

Upon Gov. Kenny Guinn signing the pending legislation, it's believed that it will be another 18 months to two years before online casinos are up and running in Nevada.
Another major property based on the Strip, which had an official in attendance at the expo, predicts that land-based operators using the Nevada bill as a vehicle to tap into the interactive market on a global perspective.

"To be honest with you, Nevada will not be our main focus for players," the official said. "That will probably be down on our list. I think everyone on the strip will have their focus on Asia."

Both land-based officials agreed that once companies like theirs venture into the online arena it could have a lasting and troubling effect for offshore and independent online casinos.

"We have the branding and the player base to really put a lot of people out of business," one official said. "As soon as the Vegas operators go online you will see a shift in power. Players know they won’t get ripped off by a property from Vegas they are familiar with versus some offshore casino. And it isn't a matter of the offshore guy being reliable or not. "It is a matter of the properties having years and years of experience, reliability and player loyalty in their corner."

Another official had a much more gloomy outlook for online operators.

"Once Nevada goes through and we (land-based operators) get the green light the offshore guys will disappear," he said. "They will either be out of business, bought by land-based operators or merged with land-based guys. The Strip has too much money and too many resources to not be stopped from dominating online."

Related Links
Global Interactive Gaming Summit & Expo (GIGSE) 2001

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