The online gaming regulatory body of Nevada issued an online poker license to Caesars Interactive Entertainment on Thursday, making the number of casino companies that have received licenses to run online poker games in Nevada twelve.
Caesars has already signed a partnership deal with 888 Holdings, but 888 needs to first get a poker license in Nevada before the two partners can think about launching an online poker service in Nevada. Since the Nevada Gaming Control Board unanimously approved the partnership deal between 888 Holdings and Caesars Interactive Entertainment in March 2011, 888 Holdings might not find it difficult to get an online poker license in Nevada. Besides, 888 and Caesars have been offering WSOP online poker in the UK for the past few years and thought of expanding to the US just 11 months back.
When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006, 888 withdrew from the US, a fact that will help win the approval of the Nevada regulatory body. Since 888 cannot run real money online poker in Nevada by itself, it had to sign a partnership deal with a Nevada-based company having land casino properties. Caesars turned out to be the best partner for 888 because it own several casino properties in Nevada, such as The Horseshoe, Rio, The Flamingo, Harrah’s, Planet Hollywood, and Paris.
Caesars Interactive Entertainment, along with companies such as South Point, MGM, Fertitta Interactive LLC, South Point, and Golden Nugget, now have the license to run online poker games in Nevada. The state has also licensed companies such as Shuffle Master, IGT, and Bally Technologies to offer services and products related to online poker gaming.
The first company to get an intrastate online poker license in Nevada was South Point Poker LLC. However, the company could not launch an online poker product in October, as it had planned, because it still has to undergo certain testing procedures. CEO Lawrence Vaughan said,
We feel we could launch today. But you’ve got to go through the independent testing labs, you have to satisfy the State Gaming Control Board and because we are the first, we’re going to be under the microscope. They’re going to prod us every which way, and that’s good. We don’t want to come out and fall flat on our face and be an embarrassment for Nevada.
Other companies that have applied for a Nevada poker license are Zynga, Treasure Island,Bwin.party, and Zynga.