Hopes for Online Poker Legalisation Renewed After Nevada Licensing

Politicians and businessmen support the idea

After last weeks issuance of licenses to Bally Technologies and International Game Technology by the Nevada Gaming Commission, a fresh enthusiasm for online poker legalisation in the US received a support by both business executives and politicians.

The Bally CEO, Richard Haddrill, recently said that his company has already closed a supply deal with the Golden Nugget Casino based on which Bally will be providing the land operation with an Internet poker products, Associated Press reports.

According to his announcement, the products will be launched by the end of this year or early 2013 following the regular testing and reviews by state regulators. He also said that his companys offer will include iGaming platform technology and content for the land casino operators. The platforms open architecture enables operators to choose content from various providers. The iGaming platform is also adaptable for mobile devices and supports, if authorised, a wide range of other games in addition to poker including casino table games, video slots, bingo, social, and sports wagering.

Robert Melendres, the IGT executive, stated that his firm intends to provide the new internet poker systems to customers, where IGT as a supplier has no intention of competing with its customers in an operational sense, AP reports.

The report also mentioned that 888 Holdings, operator of the 888poker website, applied for a licence in parallel to already holding a software relationship with Caesars Entertainment and looking for offices in Nevada.

Democratic Party Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Dean Heller, Nevada’s two U.S. senators, commented positively on the latest developments.

ldquo;Senator Reid believes legalizing online poker remains important for Nevada, and he will continue to work on this issue,rdquo; spokesperson said last week.

The comment from the communications director for Sen. Heller Stewart Bybee was also encouraging: ldquo;Senator Heller continues to support legalizing Internet poker and has been working closely with both Senator Reid and Senator Kylon legislation to achieve this goal.rdquo;

Mark Amodei, Nevada Republican Rep., verbally joined the cause, although his opinion is that the onus is on individual states to come up with consistent, collective legislation to enable its sustainability. He also said, earlier this year, that the industry as a whole should push for federal regulation in the U.S.

European companies choose to build partnerships with reputable American companies due to Nevadas reputation for pioneering the online poker legalisation process, for example Bwin.Party digital entertainment has allied itself with MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming, AP states.

Yet, according to David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada’s population is too small for the state to successfully go alone in terms of player liquidity, and further growth depends on other states online gambling legalisation. He claims that if California can persuade its conflicting groups to agree on a legalisation law, it could be a good partner with a population of nearly 38 million – almost thirteen times that of Nevada. Two other states making progress are New Jersey and Delaware, which could prove to be Nevadas competitors or partners.

As per AP, federal attempts at legalization seem be paused at present, with very little progress in the bills put forward by Rep John Campbell and Rep JoeBarton.

quot;The lack of urgency is even more surprising in light of a U.S. Justice Department ruling in December that the 1961 Wire Actforbids only sports betting, not other forms of Internet gambling such as poker,rdquo; Associated Press remarks.

According to the data of Wells Fargo and other financial firms, federal legislation could result in a $20 billion annual market online in the U.S. within five years, the news agency reports.

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