Caesars Scores Nevada Web Poker License
Company's 'Interactive' Division Approved By Gaming Commission
Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc., which will utilize its popular World Series of Poker brand as well as software from Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings, received a Nevada license Thursday to eventually operate real-money online poker games.
The games would be intrastate until a federal bill passes, or a deal is brokered between Nevada and another state that has legalized web gaming in order to share player pools. Caesars, like other Nevada casino companies, wants the market to be open nationwide.
The company said that the U.S. online poker market could one day grow as large as $6 billion — if the games were legalized, licensed and regulated.
Caesars will use 888 to manage the back-end of the product, while the WSOP is the marketing tool. 888 has not had its licensing hearing yet, but should get one in the near future.
The company expects to start offering games once regulators give the OK to 888.
In the meantime, Caesars has been offering “social gaming” on Facebook, as well as expanding its presence in Europe.
“If I nod off in this meeting it’s because I was playing your WSOP app last night,” Commission Chairman Peter Bernhard joked during Thursday.
Caesars is one of a handful of brick-and-mortar casino developers licensed by the Silver State to get a piece of the Internet poker action. Games from someone are expected to start within the first quarter of 2013, but there’s no official timetable.
Here’s a snapshot of the company’s online gaming moves over about the past 20 months, culminating in Thursday’s coveted Nevada Internet poker license:
Dec. 2012: Gaming Control Board Says OK To Caesars For Web Poker
Oct. 2012: London Payment Provider Signs Caesars Poker Deal
April 2012: Caesars Sells Shares Of Internet Gaming Subsidiary
Feb. 2012: Caesars Makes French Online Poker Move
Mar. 2011: Nevada Approves Deal Between Caesars Entertainment and 888
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