Five Gaming Companies Apply to Participate in a Nevada Online Poker System
South Point Poker, 888 Holdings, International Game Technology, Bally Technologies, Cantor Gaming Seeking to Enter Future Market
Five gaming entities have already applied for a license to do business in a Nevada-based Internet poker system that would offer the game to residents.
888 Holdings, International Game Technology, Bally Technologies and Cantor Gaming have submitted paper work to regulators, according to public records Card Player received from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. South Point Poker has applied to be licensed, but has not turned in a formal application yet, according to a source at the Control Board.
Gibraltar-based online poker operator 888 Holdings filed as a publicly traded corporation called 888 US Limited. The company is seeking to exist as a manufacturer, distributor and service provider in Nevada.
Service providers will be in charge of maintaining and running the web poker software for a licensed operator.
In March 2011, Nevada gaming regulators approved the suitability of a relationship between Caesars Entertainment, owner of the World Series of Poker brand, with subsidiaries of 888 Holdings. The arrangement, the first of its kind for a Nevada licensee, gave Caesars Entertainment the OK to operate a site in the United Kingdom.
Las Vegas-based IGT sent an application to the Control Board to function as a manufacturer and service provider. The company is a global producer of computerized gaming machines.
Earlier this year IGT purchased Swedish-based Entraction — a poker network with 112 rooms — for more than $100 million.
Like IGT, Bally Technologies, also headquartered in Las Vegas, wants to be a manufacturer and service provider in the industry.
Las Vegas’ Cantor Gaming, which was the first company licensed in the state to operate mobile gaming devices, applied to be a service provider. Cantor Gaming is a race and sports book operator at a handful of resorts in Nevada, but would be limited to poker in its potential Internet venture.
South Point Poker is the online poker room of South Point Casino, according to the operator’s website. The free site is already running games, and the company intends to offer real money play once it’s permissible.
South Point Poker is seeking to be an operator of Internet poker.
888 Holdings, IGT, Bally Technologies and South Point Poker applied in October. Cantor Gaming filed on May 18 — about a month before Nevada’s legislation that permits Internet poker was signed into law.
Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli told Card Player that reviewing some of the submitted paper work is underway, despite regulations for the industry not yet finalized and adopted.
Regulators will reconvene toward the end of December to continue to iron out the language in the regulatory drafts, which must be finished by the end of January.
February would be the earliest possible time a real-money online poker site could be running in the Silver State, but Lipparelli said laboratory testing and approval of software and other technologies will likely take longer than issuing licenses.
Federal Internet poker legislation is at a standstill in Congress.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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