Nevada Begins Considering Online Poker License Applications
The Nevada Gaming Control Board will begin reviewing applications for online poker licenses this week, with Bally Technologies and International Game Technology (IGT) first in line for consideration.
Of the 25 companies who have applied for online poker licenses in Nevada so far, IGT and Bally were among the first, submitting their applications in October, 2011. Both companies have applied to manufacture and run online systems and are in the market to pair up with brick and mortar casinos in the Silver State in order to offer their services.
IGT has been active in the acquisition arena recently, purchasing the Entraction poker network for $115 million last year, as well as shelling out $500 million earlier this year for Double Down Interactive, a social gaming network operating Double Down Casino on Facebook. IGT’s website informs potential U.S. partners that the company
is preparing for legalization with the launch of a U.S. poker product and is
currently looking for existing land-based casinos to form a partnership agreement.
Bally Technologies has been a staple in the gaming industry for decades, starting out as a manufacturer of pinball machines in the 1930’s. Bally and IGT are both based in Las Vegas. If approved by the control board, the licensing applications would then be subjected to review by the Nevada Gaming Commission. If their applications are approved by Nevada gaming officials, both companies can make history by being the first license holders permitted to provide online poker in the U.S.
Last month, Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli estimated that online poker sites would be up and running in Nevada in seven to 10 months. That would mean December of this year, at the earliest.