Slot Machine Maker Gets Web Poker OK In Nevada
WMS Set To Receive License As Business-To-Business Provider
On Thursday, Nevada’s three-member Gaming Control Board said okay to WMS Gaming Inc. being involved with the state’s upcoming intrastate online poker industry. The company will be a service provider and manufacturer, meaning that it will do business-to-business activity in the Silver State.
Executives at WMS gave a brief public presentation on the company’s profile (recent acquisitions and complex business plans). WMS runs Jackpotparty.com in the UK and the Lucky Cruise Slots app on Facebook (320,000 monthly users).
Control Board members threw some questions at the company, which elicited some conversation on the topic of geo-location — perhaps the biggest concern for a future Nevada market. Neighboring Utah has banned Internet gambling, and California still hasn’t legalized.
After explaining all of the safeguards it applies in Europe, the company’s executive director of online gaming, Brian Morgan, admitted, “I’m not going to stand here and say [logging on from somewhere else] is impossible." Over the course of 2012, regulators have heard this kind of answer a lot from other online gaming companies.
WMS will likely pursue poker in Nevada through a relationship with 888 Poker, which has also applied for a license. The online poker site has an existing partnership with Caesars Entertainment Corp., owner of the World Series of Poker and another online poker applicant.
888’s CEO said in July: “WMS is one of the main gaming suppliers in America, with a network of relationships with land-based operators that is second to none. The combination of 888’s cutting edge online poker platform and WMS’ customer relationships, marketing and distribution capabilities, provides the opportunity to build a substantial online presence.”
WMS now goes to the five-member Nevada Gaming Commission for final approval of a license.
Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli said he had no concerns about WMS and its history.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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