Boyd Gaming Corporation and MGM Resorts International have agreed to join Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc in a bid to form the world’s largest online gaming company and grab the opportunity when the US finally legalizes and regulates its online gaming industry.
According to the agreement, the Gibraltar-based Bwin.Party will provide the technology along with its World Poker Tour (WPT) and Party Poker brands to a form a brand new company to be jointly owned by MGM, Boyd, and Bwin.Party. The new company, which is to be based in the US, will offer online poker gaming services as soon as online poker becomes legalized in the US.
According to Jim Murren, the CEO of MGM, 25 percent of the new company will be owned by MGM, 10 percent by Boyd, and the rest by Bwin.Party. Keith Smith, the CEO of Boyd, said that each US casino business will use Bwin.Party gaming technology to run their online poker gaming services. Jim Ryan, the co-CEO of Bwin.Party, labeled it as “preparing for the eventual opening of the market” and added that, “there’s been an awful lot of momentum at the state and federal levels.”
The US federal government is mulling over the idea of regulating the online poker industry while the state governments are exploring their options. Meanwhile, gambling companies in the US are lobbying for proper gambling laws that will increase tax revenue and protect players by checking money laundering, fraud, gambling addiction, and underage gambling.
In a telephonic interview, Murren revealed his opinions regarding these developments. He said, “We do know that millions of Americans are gambling online, we do know that they’re gambling billions of dollars, we know that the U.S. government is deriving no benefit from this, no job creation, no tax revenue, and we know that many are at risk from unregulated websites.”
Bwin.Party was formed in March when two giant gaming companies Party Gaming Plc. and Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG merged to form the largest gambling company in the world. Bwin.Party’s revenue last fiscal year was $1.13 billion, and the company has around 3,100 employees.
This April, the US federal government cracked down on online poker giants Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars, seized their domain names, and indicted their CEOs on various counts under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. Discouraged with this development, Wynn Resorts Limited gave up its idea of forming an alliance with PokerStars.