MGM Resorts International CEO James Murren stated his belief that online poker would be legalized and regulated in 2012 within the United States during an interview with CNBC.
Pointing out the United States Department of Justice change of stance regarding online gambling Murren predicted that "Internet gaming is going to pass here in 2012 in the United States."
He then went on to say that he isn't sure what form legalization and regulation will take. Both federal and individual state options are on the table if one body fails to act.
"It should be at the federal level, because that's where we can best regulate, prevent fraud, prevent underage gambling and get rid of the illegal gaming sites that still exist today with one uniform regulatory framework."
"If the federal government fails to act, state after state after state will approve Internet poker and it will proliferate on that basis."
MGM Resorts International has teamed up with Bwin.Party.Digital, a European based gambling giant with a large online footprint.
Predicting the future of internet gambling in the United States Murren said "It will be a multi-billion dollar business. It will be hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue to us as a company, billions to the industry, and it will happen this year."