Numerous online poker providers apply for Nevada license

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Nevada is the first state in the US to start the licensing process for online poker operators, and the rush by some two-dozen current online poker providers to secure a Nevada license gives the poker world a clear indication of how lucrative the US market will likely be.

The latest company to apply for an online poker license in Nevada is bwin.Party, the parent company of the wildly popular Party Poker. Last year the company announced a merger with MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming; a partnership that puts Party Poker on the fast track for a Nevada license since the first round of licenses will be given to companies currently licensed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board or companies partnered with a current licensee.

Under the terms of the partnership, MGM will own 25% of the company, Boyd Gaming will own 10%, and bwin.Party will hold the majority share of 65% of the operation.

A second major player in the pending Nevada online poker industry will likely be the partnership between 888 and Caesar’s Entertainment, the parent company of the World Series of Poker. Other companies that have teamed-up with or created their own online poker software have also applied for a Nevada license, such as the Golden Nugget and ChiliPoker, as well as some companies without partnerships, who are basically looking for a dancing partner at this point, including BOSS Media and SPIELO International.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board started taking applications in February of 2012, and with 24 applications already in, it appears that Nevadans will have plenty of online poker rooms to choose from. The NGCB is hoping to have the framework in place, and to have real-money online poker up-and-running by the end of the year.

Companies applying for the license will have to adhere to a number of regulations put in place by the NGCB, as well as the financial burden set to even get an online poker site off the ground. The initial licensing is thought to be in the $250,000 range, and companies must also set aside a fund for future investigations into their operations.

Some of the regulations enacted under the Nevada online poker law include:

  • All players must be 21 years of age
  • Players may not transfer funds to one another (inter-account transfers)
  • Players are allowed only a single account per operator
  • Operators must keep all hand histories for a five-year period
  • Operators must take appropriate action to insure players are of age
  • Operators must take appropriate action to insure poker bots are not being used

As the application process continues, we will be sure to update you on any new developments on this front.

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