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Shuffle Master Granted Nevada Online Poker License

Company Becomes Third Ever To Snag Such Approval


Commission Chairman Peter BernhardEvery month that goes by is one more shuffle closer to Nevada dealing its first hand of real-money intrastate Internet poker. On Thursday in Las Vegas, Shuffle Master, Inc. received its license to provide online poker technology to Nevada casino companies from the state Gaming Commission.

Shuffle Master joins Bally Technologies, Inc. and International Game Technology, which were licensed in June, as the only companies given full regulatory approval.

The Nevada model is simple. Business-to-business providers, such as Shuffle Master, can run and maintain the games on behalf of casino companies, which have been given exclusivity as operators. On Wednesday, a regulator said that licenses for casinos will come this fall.

Shuffle Master, founded in 1992 and headquartered in Las Vegas, has an array of products outside of its web gaming initiative: automated card shufflers, proprietary table games, electronic table systems and slot machines. It does business globally.

Shuffle Master’s Chief Strategy Office Louis Castle said the company also wants to go after all social media-based gaming avenues in order to build its database of players.

Technology testing and certification is the final step for companies looking to begin Internet poker business in Nevada, which has authorized third-party testing labs to also get in the mix.

In late June, Shuffle Master axed its plans to buy Ongame Network Ltd., which is home to more than 25 online poker rooms, from Digital Entertainment. Shuffle Master stated that Ongame wouldn’t “achieve the near-term results” that were initially expected.

Also at the Thursday hearing, online bookmaker Paddy Power PLC was granted a “preliminary finding of suitability.” Its approval wasn’t an OK to participate in Nevada online gaming, but that request, as well as other formal business plans, could come in the near future.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus