NV Licensee Profile: MGM Resorts International

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This is one of a series of profiles covering companies that hold a license to participate in Nevada’s online gambling market.

You’d be very hard-pressed to find a more recognizable name in the world of gaming than the MGM. MGM Resorts is the second largest gaming company in the world based on revenue, and operates some of the biggest and most recognizable properties on the Las Vegas Strip.

Among the hotel and casinos under the MGM Resorts umbrella are the Bellagio, Aria, MGM, Mirage, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, New York New York, Excalibur, and Circus Circus. In addition to their Las Vegas properties the company also operates properties around the globe, such as the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, the MGM Grand Macau, the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, the Borgata in Atlantic City, and numerous other properties in locations ranging from Dubai to Detroit.

Details and Timeline of MGM’s Nevada License

As an online operator the MGM is able to host and operate an online poker site in the state of Nevada, so long as they abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the NGCB and NGC. Unfortunately, MGM’s plans for online poker had to be put on hold as their strategic partners, bwin.party, have not received approval from the state to operate as a service provider as of yet.

Partnerships and Role in the Las Vegas market

MGM has entered into a strategic partnership with the online gaming giant bwin.party.

bwin.party is still awaiting their own Nevada licensing hearing, but perhaps even more tantalizing are recent statements by bwin.party management citing the company’s focus on the soon to be launched New Jersey market, with its massive population, although Nevada remains a focus for the company as well.

MGM Company Overview

MGM Resorts began its life as MGM Grand inc. back in 1986 as a way for the Metro Goldwyn Mayer film studio to break into the hotel and casino industry. By 1989 the MGM Grand group had acquired a number of properties but was mainly flipping them and reselling them at this point, until it announced plans for a massive mega-resort-casino complete with 4,000 hotel rooms and a Hollywood-style theme park. After finding none of their current properties suitable for the undertaking, MGM settled on the Marina Hotel which they acquired for about $125 million and the MGM Grand eventually opened on that same site in 1993 at a whopping cost of $1 billion.

From the time the MGM Grand opened to now the company has been busy building and acquiring some of the biggest and swankiest casino properties in Las Vegas and around the globe.

In 2000, MGM purchased Mirage Resorts (at the time owned by Steve Wynn) adding the Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, Boardwalk, and Golden Nugget casinos in Las Vegas, the Golden Nugget in Laughlin, and the Beau Rivage in Mississippi, and a half share of the Monte Carlo to the MGM’s revenue sheet. The new company was renamed MGM Mirage and a gaming empire was born.

In 2004 the MGM Mirage would further solidify their Las Vegas supremacy by acquiring the Mandalay Group, putting MGM in control of 50% of the hotel rooms on the Las Vegas strip. After trimming some dead-weight the MGM Mirage Group was renamed MGM Resorts in 2010.

Now the final frontier for MGM is to conquer the world of online poker, something they expect to start in the very near future with the launch of their real-money Nevada online poker room.

MGM Power Players

CEO of MGM Resorts International: James Murren: Murren has been with MGM since 1998 when he joined the company as a CFO, and the following year was added to the company’s Board of Directors. After 10 years with MGM, Murren was promoted to CEO and also Chairman of the Board in 2008. Under Murren’s watch MGM Resorts has expanded immensely, not only domestically but also abroad, as you can see in the company’s history above.

MGM Resorts has a lengthy Board of Directors list that includes the following people:

  • James J. Murren Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts

  • Alexis Herman

  • Roland Hernandez

  • Robert H. Baldwin

  • Anthony Mandekic

  • William A. Bible

  • Rose McKinney-James

  • Burton M. Cohen

  • Gregory Spierkel

  • Willie D. Davis

  • Daniel Taylor

  • William Grounds

The MGM Board also has two Director’s Emeritus, Kirk Kerkorian and Melvin B. Wolzinger.

MGM’s Potential in other US markets

With casinos across the entire country and the world, MGM Resorts has a terrific opportunity to be an industry leader if inter-state or even international online poker or gambling is introduced. Even without inter-state gambling, MGM’s properties in Connecticut, New Jersey, and across the Midwest and southern US should give them the opportunity to become licensed in a number of different states. On the immediate horizon would be New Jersey, where MGM Resorts holds a 50% interest in the Borgata.

External Links

*Resources: www.wikipedia.org, www.MGMresorts.com

- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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