Two More Gaming Companies Receive Internet Poker Licenses In Nevada
WMS Gaming And ACEP Interactive Granted Approval Thursday
On Thursday, Nevada’s five-member Gaming Commission granted licenses to WMS Gaming Inc. and American Casino & Entertainment Properties to be involved with the state’s upcoming intrastate online poker industry. WMS is a technology firm, while ACEP owns a number of Nevada casinos.
Their coupling on Thursday doesn’t mean that they will necessarily do business together.
Commission Chairman Peter Bernhard asked WMS about its online operations in Europe, inquiring specifically about whether it opened up to a country where the activity was deemed to be legal, rather than offering games everywhere and then later “blocking” access to countries with legal grey areas.
In Nevada, regulators have hammered home their desire to know that online poker licensees did their “due diligence” to prevent accepting online wagers from individuals in jurisdictions where the activity isn’t explicitly OK. This standard applies to their subsidiaries and partners.
ACEP Interactive received a license to exist as an “operator” of online poker, which is a distinction given only to brick-and-mortars. The company owns several Nevada properties, including the Stratosphere Hotel Casino and Tower.
Alec Driscoll, the company’s director of gaming development, said they’re “excited to get [online poker] going.” He called online gaming a “player acquisition tool” that will also bring players to the physical casino. Few in the Silver State seem to be worried anymore about online gambling taking away from brick-and-mortar visitation.
ACEP will rely on at least one technology partner to conduct its business. It didn’t disclose who that might be. “We would hope to leverage that announcement a little bit later,” Driscoll said.
So far, Shuffle Master, International Game Technology, South Point Poker, Monarch Interactive, Bally Technologies, Global Cash Access, WMS and ACEP have received online poker-related licenses in the Silver State. South Point Casino will likely be the first to bring real-money games to the market, happening as early as this fall. The casino company has developed in-house software and won’t be dependent on a business-to-business deal like its competitors.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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