MGM CEO Jim Murren

Don’t hold your breathe if you’re waiting for the Federal Government to regulate online gambling. That’s the gist of remarks made by MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren at the Southern Gaming Summit in Biloxi, Mississippi last week.

“It won’t be here likely at a federal level because the federal government is doing what they are best at, nothing at all,” he said in his keynote address. “It will be done at a state-by-state level and (MGM) will be actively engaged.”

Murren pointedly criticized house Republicans for their inaction on Federal poker legislation, “If it isn’t happening, don’t blame Sen. Reid. Blame the House Republicans. That’s where it is being held up.”

Will New Jersey edge out Nevada and offer intrastate online poker first? Check out New Jersey Races to Win Online Poker Race.

States on the Move

A number of states are racing to bring intrastate online poker networks online in the wake of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) reversal on their interpretation of the Federal Wire Act last December. That move wasn’t necessarily as good for big casino companies like MGM Resorts as it might sound.

A patchwork of state-by-state gaming regulations creates major headaches for national firms looking for a piece of the poker pie. Another potential regulatory headache is that  many states are likely to limit gaming licenses to companies with a physical presence in their borders.

MGM Readies Online Offering

Like most major casino groups, MGM is getting set to offer up their own intrastate poker site in Nevada. MGM has paired up with to help develop the site. Just as most of the other companies in the Nevada poker race have, MGM is preparing a non-cash, social gaming site to generate interest.


Murren’s remarks pretty much sum up the last year or so in the gaming industry. He’s enthusiastic about the prospect of legal online poker, but frustrated by the Federal Government’s flip-flopping on the issue. He’s also right on the money; Federal gaming legislation is likely years away, if it comes at all.

Should the US Government regulate online poker across the country? Let us know in our Online Gaming Laws & Regulations Forum.



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