The Nevada state Gaming Control Board (GCB) that is responsible for recommending companies for interactive gaming online licenses met on Thursday, November 1 to consider the merits of multiple online poker applicants looking for licenses. Nevada was the first state to legalize online poker after the United States Department of Justice passed that responsibility onto the state level in late 2011. Obviously, those companies which get involved on the ground level will have a leg up on the competition in both Nevada and the United States overall, and the GCB recommended MGM Resorts International as a license holder along with two other companies Thursday.
Z4Poker LLC of Las Vegas and Cams LLC of Los Angeles were also approved for interactive online gaming licenses, and the next step is for license applicants to be okayed by the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) at its next meeting November 15. The GCB acts as a vetting process, investigating and researching companies which apply for interactive online gaming licenses. They then approve or disapprove those companies as viable online poker license holders, with the NGC holding the final say-so over which companies receive eventual licensing.
MGM Resorts presented plans at the Thursday meeting to originally established a “fun play” online poker website by March of 2013. Using that site as a beta test, the kinks can be worked out before MGM Resorts International offers a pay for play experience. The company has years of managing and operating brick-and-mortar casinos and currently runs myVegas, which is a social networking site that also offers gaming, and currently plays host to over 350,000 monthly visitors. MGM Resorts stated that the new free play site would enter into a partnership agreement with the development of their myVegas entity, Playstudios.
John McManus is the executive vice president and general counsel for MGM Resorts, and he said the company will be partnering with Bwin.party Digital Entertainment and Boyd Gaming (also a Nevada online poker license holder) to eventually offer some type of real money poker online company. Rumors in the online poker community in Nevada show that Bwin.party will probably receive a go-ahead for a Nevada interactive gaming license from the GCB, officially receiving that license from the NGC in early 2013.
MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming would be able to go live with their websites as soon as Bwin.party receives an official Nevada license, and both company stated that this gives them plenty of time to offer the best possible customer experience, while also keeping Nevada online regulators and game testing labs happy. Some other companies which have already been approved since June for interactive gaming licenses in the Silver State are Fertitta Interactive LLC, South Point Poker, Global Cash Access Holdings, Bally Technologies, American Casino and Entertainment Properties, PokerTrip Enterprises, International Game Technology, and WMS Industries.