There’s very much of a ‘let’s wait and see’ attitude being taken by MGM Resorts over regulated online gaming in the United States. The company does hold a license to operate online in Nevada should it wish, but for the moment they are happy to provide a free to play only site that allows their players to earn loyalty points online, redeemable at any MGM property in Las Vegas. The state of Nevada has only three operational real money gaming websites up and running, but with such a small population that is enough, and some would say too much, however all eyes are on the much larger New Jersey as to the value of a land based casino running an online operation. With a much larger population and many more online casino and poker rooms in the mix, NJ provides a better overall picture, and that picture is throwing out a few uncertainties as to the real worth of an online gaming venture.
There are six land based casinos in New Jersey that offer online casino games and poker rooms, and the first four months of 2014 saw a total of just $41 Million in revenue...way below expectations, and Chad Beynon of Macquarie Securities believes that the approach being taken by MGM is the sensible one. Mr Benyon says that, “Overall, recent data and news headlines have been almost uniformly negative for iGaming companies and near-term jurisdictional expansions, most states remain in the ‘wait and see mode.’ Despite this, companies remained optimistic around the business. However, a lack of progress keeps us concerned.” The only other state that is seriously considering online gaming at present is that of California and there’s still many hurdles to jump there, and forward movement this years seems unlikely. The lack of a good revenue stream being seen in New Jersey is not only making companies such as MGM think twice and take the safe approach with online gaming in the US, but it’s also planting seeds of doubt with other states that may be looking at extra revenue streams. The wait and see approach is not only being taken by larger land based casino companies that operate in regulated by states, but it’s also being taken by states that have yet to regulate online gaming...of which we won’t see many more in the foreseeable future, meaning that casino games players will continue to play at the many offshore online casinos and poker rooms, of which there are ,any to choose from.