Vegas is fighting over .vegas

Rarely does a story originate from Sin City that is truly… unique. Sure, lots of crazy stuff happens in Vegas. That’s where the whole “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” tagline came from. However, you have to pay attention here because this one is a tall tale, indeed -

It all started with a company called Dot Vegas struck a deal with the Las Vegas City Council to acquire and manage a new Top Level Domain (TLD) called .vegas. In return for doing so, Dot Vegas would pay a .75 premium to the City for each domain sold. In other words, you buy ILove.Vegas for $35.00 and .75 of that goes to the city. Great way to increase revenue, right? Why not…

So let’s back up a bit. Las Vegas is essentially broken down between the City of Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County. So you have bearucrats from not only the City Council but also the Clark County Commission that (usually) play well with each other. Not in this case though.

So fast forward to when a well known Vegas company that not only owns the Las Vegas Sun but also operates. Vegas.COM comes into the picture. They went to the Clark County Commission and got a deal approved in which they pay $1.75 to the County for each .vegas domain name sold. You see, neither of these companies actually OWN the rights to do anything with the .vegas name. Yet. The name technically doesn’t even exist because ICANN, the Internet Company for Assigning Names and Numbers hasn’t awarded the rights to the .vegas name. Confused yet? Hope not.

All of this is coming to head soon because ICANN has released a statement that they may settle this the old fashioned way – selling to the highest bidder. Where this could have been a relatively clandestine deal that went down and a few folks made a buck or two, it may now swell into something big and ugly. The ultimate winner? ICANN – the auction price could easily top seven figures. The ultimate loser? Depends on who you ask:

The Vegas casinos that would ultimately have to buy yet another domain name that may or not even be relevant may wind up losers. Not a ton of money albeit but a silly expenditure regardless. Think about it. What’s the difference between going to vs. Dunno yet, you tell me. At the end of the day they would have to secure the rights to these names to prevent Internet domain speculators from scooping them up and holding them for ransom. Worse, some porno king could well grab up and send visitors to a site full of nude women doing…things.

There is a debate on the need for such a TLD, considering that despite multiple TLD’s being around (.net, .org. ,tv, .mobi, etc) that the VAST majority of people still prefer to visit .com sites. Would .vegas be the exception? Likely not. What’s the incentive?

It will be interesting to see where this whole deal lands. I don’t think the world will be any better or worse off with either outcome. But again, it’s Vegas so we will have to remain interested spectators until this whole mess is finally sorted out.

In the meantime, check out this great Sports Betting site – maybe they’ll offer odds on who will ultimately win this .vegas battle.

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About Todd W
Small stakes NL Holdem player and high stakes sales guy in real life.