888 Considering Application For Nevada Online Poker License
Tuesday, 26. July 2011

Bloomberg reported that 888 Holdings, the UK online gaming giants, are considering applying for an online poker license with the Nevada Gaming Board. This should come as no surprise when considering that they are involved in an ongoing discussion with Caesars Entertainment regarding a strategic partnership. Caesars Entertainment is a gaming conglomerate that counts among its companies Caesars, Rio, Harrah’s, Flamingo, and the World Series of Poker.

Brian Mattingly, the Deputy Chairman of 888 Holdings disclosed in an interview with Bloomberg that 888 was well along in their discussions with Caesars and that 888 would reach a decision regarding a Nevada license towards “mid-autumn.”

This announcement comes in the wake of the passing of Assembly Bill 258 by the Nevada Senate Judiciary Committee this past May. This bill would the Nevada Gaming Commission to develop a system of regulations for online poker and will allow casinos to obtain licenses for launching their own online poker rooms in the event that the federal government legalizes online poker

The truth of the matter is that even if Caesars and 888 were to close a deal and sign a contract, there is still no guarantee that the federal government would legalize online poker. As long as the federal government’s stand on online poker remains negative, the companies would not be able to launch an online poker room.

If the federal government does legalize online poker, it is still possible that 888 would soldier on by themselves without Caesars or any other US-based casino company. There is a clause in the Nevada bill which leaves the door open for off-shore online gaming providers to obtain a license. Of course, this is just a clause in the Nevada bill and for it to become possible, the US government would have to allow it. To date, all of the bills that have been introduced in Congress have restricted eligibility for licenses to US companies.

In unrelated news, 888 Holdings has reported incredible second quarter numbers with 29% growth since the second quarter of last year. 888Poker was the big winner with a 58% increase since last year and is now in sixth position in terms of global liquidity rankings.

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