Bally Technologies Granted First Online Poker License In U.S. Gaming History
Nevada Regulators Give The OK, Technology Testing Next
On Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas, the Nevada Gaming Commission granted final approval on an application that allows Bally Technologies, Inc. to offer real-money online poker. The license is the first of its kind in U.S. gaming history.
Bally, a business-to-business provider, will manufacture, run and maintain online gaming systems on behalf of Nevada casinos.
Bally will now have its technology tested, to insure to a high degree of confidence, for example, that games only take place within the state’s borders. Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli has said that this process will dictate how quickly games can be brought to the marketplace. In May, Lipparelli gave a time frame of 7-10 months.
Earlier this year, Nevada passed rules for private testing labs to assist regulators in swiftly giving the final OK for real-money play to commence.
More than 30 entities have so far sent online poker applications to regulators. Bally was one of the early birds, submitting its paperwork in October 2011, prior to regulations being in place.
Nevada is the only state in the country where online gaming is legal. Nevada will enter the online realm with poker only at first. The game will be available to both residents and visitors, but some in the industry are skeptical of the vitality of the potential player pool.
Less than an hour later on Thursday, International Game Technology also had its own online poker application approved by the five-person panel. Like Bally, the slot machine manufacturer is seeking to exist as a service provider.
Additional companies could be licensed later this summer. The Control Board and Commission each meet once per month.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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