The Nevada Gaming Control Board has scheduled the hearings of a trio of online poker license applicants this week, with recommendations expected for all three.
Boyd Gaming, Golden Nugget and Fertitta Interactive will go before the board to determine the suitability of each to become players in the Silver State’s intrastate online poker regime. Golden Nugget has been a presence in the downtown Las Vegas area for well over 60 years and currently operates a free-play Internet poker site. The well-known casino has applied for a license in the operator category and has already joined forces with Bally Technologies in a partnership agreement to operate a real-money site. Bally was the first company in Nevada to be granted approval from gaming officials a couple months ago.
Boyd Gaming runs about 10 casinos in Nevada including the Sun Coast Hotel and Casino and Eldorado Casino. Boyd is seeking licensing as both an operator and service provider and also has a partnership deal in place–with Bwin.party–to offer online poker to residents and tourists of Nevada.
Fertitta Interactive is known for running Station Casinos and seeks the approval of gaming officials as a service provider. The company purchased CyberArts Licensing in October, 2011, which provides software for online gaming. If approved, Fertitta plans to offer online poker under the popular Ultimate Gaming brand.
The trio of license applicants set to be considered by gaming officials are hoping to join eight companies that already have been granted approval in the state of Nevada. WMS Gaming and American Casino & Entertainment Properties (ACEP) were the latest entities to receive rubber-stamping last month. They joined South Point Hotel Casino & Spa, Shuffle Master, Monarch Interactive, Global Cash Access Holdings, International Game Technology, and the aforementioned Bally Technologies.
South Point is expected to be the first of the licensees to have a real-money online site up and running, perhaps as early as this fall. All told, there are some three dozen applicants vying to get in on legalized online poker in the U.S., so the control board will be very busy with additional hearings all the way through 2012 and into next year.