Nevada Approves First Online Poker License
Bally Technologies' Application Now Goes to Gaming Commission
The World Series of Poker isn’t the only place where the game is making history this summer. On Wednesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board agreed to allow Bally Technologies, Inc. to run intrastate online poker.
Attorney Ellen Whittemore said the company expected a “unique investigation” while regulators prepared to issue the first license of its kind in U.S. gaming history.
“Nevada is ready to go. Bally is ready to go,” said Mark Lerner, another attorney for the company.
Bally, a business-to-business provider, finalized its acquisition of Chiligaming in April 2012, which allows it to offer online poker software to casino operators. Chiligaming software is behind the recently launched free-play site of the Golden Nugget.
Companies like Bally, which will manufacture, run and maintain online gaming systems, must partner with a Nevada brick-and-mortar. They can’t run an online poker site independently.
Bally’s licensing fee is $125,000, but Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli said that could be reduced pending the outcome of the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee. At the last meeting, MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren said he’d like online gaming fees reduced.
Bally’s application now goes to the Gaming Commission, which will meet on June 21. If successful there, the company has a license, but will still need its technology vetted.
International Game Technology’s application to run online poker will be heard by the Control Board when it reconvenes on Thursday.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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