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Old 11-16-2007, 11:59 AM
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Default MGM, Harrah’s Look Forward to Legalized Online Poker

MGM, Harrah’s Look Forward to Legalized Online Poker
By Dan
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2007

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For Terry Lanni and Gary Loveman, it’s a matter of “when,” not “if” online poker will be legalized and regulated in the United States. The CEO’s of MGM Mirage and Harrah’s Entertainment, respectively, believe that the internet version of one of America’s favorite games will made legal in the U.S. within two years.

Speaking at a panel discussion at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Lanni predicted a 12 to 18 month timeframe, while Loveman pushed his prediction out 6 months, to 18 to 24 months. Both feel that other casino games, such as blackjack and craps, will take much longer to be legalized. Loveman feels those games are as much as 10 years from coming back to U.S. players, while Lanni feels it will be sooner, but still quite a ways away.

MGM Mirage did actually start an online poker room in 2001, but it folded quickly. According to Lanni, the company required players to go through a more lengthy registration process (presumably for screening and security reasons), which hurt the site’s signups.

"We closed the operation down with the thought that we know what we're doing, and we're prepared to do it if and when it becomes legal here," Lanni said.

Harrah’s announced earlier at the Global Gaming Expo that it is looking into creating a World Series of Poker branded online poker site, marketed towards players in areas where the game is legal and regulated, such as Europe.

MGM, Harrah’s Look Forward to Legalized Online Poker
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