Bringing online gambling to Nevada is a natural fit. A Mecca for gambling in the brick ’n mortar industry, Las Vegas is home to the most well known and respected gambling brands in the world.
In 2011, the Nevada State Legislature authorized the legalization of online poker. By the third quarter of 2012, the Nevada Gambling Commission had set forth internet betting regulations and commenced the issuing of operator licenses that included the likes of 888 Holdings, Bwin.Party, MGM, Boyd Gaming, Stations Casinos and Caesar’s Interactive Entertainment.
When the first online poker room – UltimatePoker.com – went live in Nevada, it was April 30, 2013. Within three months, the Stations Casinos subsidiary had dealt 3 million poker hands for real money online play. By early 2014, there were three online poker rooms up-and-running in Nevada, including Caesar’s Interactive’s vastly popular WSOP poker room (having already successfully launched in Europe), and Real Gaming (originally South Point Poker).
While Nevada’s reputation as a Mecca for land-based gambling will help serve its rise in the online sector, the fact that players must be physically located within state boundaries, severely limits its reach. To mitigate this setback, state legislators passed a clause that would enable Nevada to form interstate compacts with other state’s where online gambling is legal.
The first of these compacts took place in early 2014, when Delaware (the first state to legalize online gambling, including casino games) formed an interstate partnership with Nevada to combine player pools. For Nevada residents, this marked the first time that casino-style games like Blackjack and slot machines would become available beyond online poker games.
As of the first quarter 2014, there are eight additional online gambling destinations set to go live, including properties owned by MGM, Boyd Gaming, the Stratosphere Casino, Treasure Island Resort and Monarch Casino – all of which have entered into partnerships with various Nevada-licensed software developers that include the likes of Shuffle Master and International Game Technology (IGT).
While it is still too early to give accurate revenue projections in Nevada, as the online gambling industry continues to grow here (which would be largely aided by an interstate online poker agreement with California), revenue figures are likely climb in the billions.
For more NV gaming news and developments, visit the official Nevada state website here: gaming.nv.gov
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