Well-known U.K. based online gaming company, 888 PLC is on the verge of closing an agreement with various European wireless carriers on Friday, December 1, 2006, to provide gambling related services via cellular phones, a decision that could have great consequences on the United States' intent of suppressing the online gambling industry.
The U.S. has managed to put a dent in the huge online market industry with its passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which prohibits financial institutions in the U.S., like banks and credit card companies from processing gambling related financial transactions. 888 PLC is already in the closing stages of ironing out its services on the mobile handsets of the European operators. 888 PLC also happens to be one of the companies that are rumored to be in talks with MGM-Mirage, a well-known gambling giant in the U.S. for a possible buy-out.
If all goes well, it will not only make MGM Mirage one of the major players in both the Asian and European online gaming world, but it could be a new way of introducing cellular phone based gambling activities, aside from the American Market. Aside from that, MGM-Mirage is also in talks with Ladbrokes, a well-known online sports book brand in the United Kingdom.
If MGM-Mirage buys both, it will be able to offer both sports betting and gambling services on its customers' cellular phones. If this trend started by MGM-Mirage continues, all of those conspiracy claims for the real reasons behind the recent UIGEA law will continue to spread among the industry and its customers.
December 14, 2006