"This is another opportunity for our company to create greater awareness of our global brands and further establish our presence and interest in the U.K. market," said Bill Weidner, president and CEO of Las Vegas Sands. "Additionally, as the Internet gaming landscape continues to evolve this effort will put us in a strong position to evaluate and react to other potential opportunities."
The Sands will base its online venture in Alderney, a British Channel Island that is widely regarded as a "tier-one" regulator of online gambling because it holds its licensees to the highest level of standards and consumer safety.
Cantor Gaming, an affiliate of financial services company Cantor Fitzgerald, has developed the software that will power the Sands' online casino. Cantor Gaming will provide software featuring Las Vegas Sands brands the Palazzo, Paiza, the Venetian and the Sands. Cantor Gaming currently operates FHM Gaming for the publisher of FHM magazine.
Las Vegas Sands will become the first U.S.-based casino company to try its luck at running an Internet gaming site for a foreign audience since Harrah's Entertainment closed scratch ticket and instant win site LuckyMe.com in October 2004 after just six months of operation. LuckyMe was based on the Isle of Man, another British Channel Island.
MGM Mirage launched a real money Internet casino on the Isle of Man in September of 2001 but closed it June of 2004 due to what a company person spokesperson described as the "unclear political and legal climate" in Washington.