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World Series Of Poker Closer To An Online Site

Caesars Entertainment Corp. Will Grab Nevada License Soon

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A subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corp. — owner of the World Series of Poker — gained its first round of formal approval Wednesday to eventually offer web poker in Nevada, and potentially nationwide if a federal bill ever passes or a state-by-state patchwork forms.

“We believe the real opportunity is in the United States,” the company told regulators.

While Europe has provided some opportunities for the firm in the online realm, the American market is widely regarded as much more lucrative.

During its presentation in front of the three-member Gaming Control Board, the company gave a rundown of its recent business relationships with Playtika, Electronic Arts, and Rock Gaming, an Ohio firm which is the company’s partner in brick-and-mortar casinos there.

Rock, controlled by NBA owner Dan Gilbert, owns a piece of Caesars’ online venture.

Caesars now goes to the Nevada Gaming Commission for a final hearing before snagging a license to offer online poker.

Caesars will use existing online poker site 888 to manage the back-end of the product. 888 has not had a licensing hearing yet, but should get one in the near future.

“Once 888 is licensed, the intent is to go live in Nevada at that moment,” said Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus