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Analyst: Regulation Needed for Internet Gambling to Succeed

13 January 2001

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Jan. 13, 2001 -- As reported by the Associated Press: "Despite initial opposition, major U.S. gaming companies are considering establishing online casinos. But without changes in the law and effective regulations, gambling on the Internet won't be a hand played by traditional casino operators, industry executives say.

"Consistent regulatory standards, licensing and taxes are needed to make Internet gambling legitimate, industry analyst Marc Falcone, vice president of Bear Stearns, told those attending the two-day American Gaming Summit on Friday.

"...Falcone said until online gambling is regulated, he is cutting in half his earlier predictions that the industry could exceed $6 billion a year by 2003.

"...Internet gaming will supplement, rather than take away from, traditional casinos, Falcone said.

"The Nevada Resort Association, which represents the many of the state's casinos, has opposed efforts to legalize online gaming, fearing it would drain dollars away.

"But officials for gaming giants such as MGM Mirage and Park Place Entertainment now say they are interested in exploring opportunities offered by Internet gambling and are testing the waters with promotional online sites.

"That has regulators nervous. The Nevada attorney general's office issued an opinion this month saying Nevada casinos can't offer free gambling over the Internet if players get prizes based on a game's outcome - even if no money is bet..."

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