When Nevada’s Gaming Policy Committee wrapped up its final meeting yesterday before the 11-member panel’s scheduled calendar break, the panel, led by Governor Brian Sandoval, had unquestionably positioned Nevada to become the first state to allow at least one of its casinos to have a legal website where Nevada residents and visitors can play poker using real money.
And just a day earlier, the keluaran sgp Gaming Policy Committee said that it intends to encourage Nevada’s State Legislature to investigate the legality of Nevada forming compacts, or revenue-sharing agreements, between the state’s legally operated websites and other states and foreign countries when Nevada’s Legislature reconvenes in February of next year.
With Bally Technologies and International Game Technology, or IGT, receiving licenses to provide Internet gambling software to licensed brick-and-mortar casinos from the state last month and Shuffle Master receiving its service provider license earlier today, only two identifiable obstacles remain before Nevada becomes the first state in America to have its casinos operate legal online poker websites.
First, the Independent Testing Labs approved by the state must test the software developed by licensed software providers for fairness, among other things. Second, the state must approve at least one of the more than thirty land-based casinos that have applied for a license to host a legal gambling website. According to Mark Lipparelli, the Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada may not have to wait too long to overcome at least one of these obstacles.
According to the online version of “Card Player Magazine” and the “Las Vegas Review-Journal,” among other sources, Lipparelli estimates that Nevada could issue its first operator license(s) within the next 60 – 90 days. If Lipparelli’s estimate is accurate, Nevada truly is well-positioned to become the first state in the nation to offer independently run, state-regulated online poker to its residents and visitors who are at least 21 years-old.
And if the predictions voiced by Michael Gaughan, Chief Executive Officer of South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa, are accurate, Gaughan’s establishment may be two or three months ahead of its competition in the context of getting a real-money poker website up and running in Nevada. According to an interview recently published by “eGaming Review,” Gaughan believes South Point will receive a Nevada operator’s license in August of this year. The CEO also expressed his belief that South Point’s real-money poker website will go live the following month.
Regardless of the accuracy of anyone’s predictions, including Lipparelli’s and Gaughan’s, the Nevada Gaming Commission can expect to continue to have some of its choices to grant licenses to certain businesses questioned by critics if the past is any indication of what the future holds. For instance, some voiced concern over the Gaming Commission’s decision to grant an interactive gaming license to IGT last month.
Critics of the Gaming Commission’s decision pointed out that when IGT purchased the Entraction Network in March of last year, the company had to labor to bring its new acquisition into compliance with global standards and extract the network from markets that IGT’s Executive Vice President of Emerging Businesses, Robert Melendres, described as “darker then gray.” Critics also voiced concern over Entraction’s having welcomed American players in the past. Finally, observers questioned the appropriateness of IGT receiving a license because one of the real-money poker websites on its network, Purple Lounge, closed in January of this year without returning players’ account balances to them.
Lipparelli seems content with IGT’s efforts to turn Entraction around and thinks the company deserved the interactive gaming license it received from the state of Nevada despite the concerns of critics. In what may be an indication of how the Gaming Commission’s future licensing decisions will go, Pokerfuse offered the following quote from Lipparelli, “The board will look favorably on anyone who follows IGT’s lead.”
In anticipation of some of the criticisms the Gaming Commission’s licensing decisions are sure to attract, Chairman Peter Bernhard said, “We’ll be criticized no matter what we do.”