Online Poker Licenses on Nevada Regulatory Agenda
Bally Technologies and IGT to Have Applications Considered Next Week
Online poker in Nevada will be one step closer to reality this upcoming week.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has released an agenda for its June 6 and 7 meetings, and Bally Technologies, Inc. and International Game Technology will have their respective licensure applications for online gaming considered. If approved, they would go to the Gaming Commission.
Both companies are looking to manufacture, run and maintain online gaming systems. They would need to partner with a brick-and-mortar casino in order to do business. According to IGT’s website, the company is actively looking for such relationships.
Bally Technologies currently offers a large selection of Internet-based games, including a $1.99 slot machine application for Apple products.
IGT entered the social gaming arena when it made an aggressive $500 million purchase of Double Down Interactive. DoubleDown Casino recently launched a free-play hold’em game on Facebook.
The company also purchased an online poker network for $115 million about a year ago.
Twenty five entities have so far sent applications to regulators. Bally Technologies and IGT were two of the early birds, each submitting their paper work in October 2011.
Although Nevada gaming companies could eventually offer a wide array of casino games through cyberspace, the Silver State regulators have elected to allow only poker at first.
If successful, Bally Technologies and IGT could be the first companies ever to obtain a license to offer online poker in a U.S. state. Nevada effectively legalized intrastate poker last summer.
While the legislation says that a Nevada license can’t offer the games until there’s a federal bill or the Department of Justice gives its OK, a federal legal clarification in December 2011 is widely considered to have put the activity, as long as it’s done intrastate, in the free and clear.
In mid May, Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli gave a time frame of seven to 10 months for poker games to be up and running. Nevada could be online before 2013.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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