Three major gambling companies—Boyd, MGM, and Golden Nugget—have requested Nevada regulators for an extension of the deadline to launch online poker products in the Silver State. Last fall, Nevada granted these firms the interactive online gambling licenses required to operate online poker businesses within its jurisdiction. One of the major things discussed at the October meeting of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which has 3 members, was the request made by these three companies.
According to Nevada’s gambling regulations, companies that have been granted the license to operate online poker rooms within Nevada are required to put their business plans into action within six months of getting the license. However, a few companies have stated that they need time owing to the extensive software testing that forms part of the licensing procedure in Nevada. The state’s gambling regulators say that they perfectly understand.
Gambling firms are also concerned about liquidity. The Silver State just doesn’t have a population large enough for a successful online poker industry. A few firms, therefore, might have decided to wait till Nevada signs an interstate online poker compact with New Jersey or any other state that might regulate online poker in the near future. Nevada is definitely interested in interstate gambling compacts, and it is just a matter of time before the state negotiates such a deal.
Currently, Ultimate Poker, an online poker brand belonging to Station Casinos, and WSOP.com, which belongs to Caesars Entertainment Corporation, are the only online poker rooms in Nevada. Both online poker rooms are doing well so far, but might not be able to grow as they would like to because of liquidity issues. The online poker industry in Nevada can succeed only if there is a large player pool, and merging the state’s player pool with those of other US states is the only solution to the problem.
Licensed online gambling sites are expected to appear in New Jersey late in November. Market analysts have been predicting that the two states will sign a compact as soon as online gaming sites go live in the Garden State. The three land casinos of Delaware, one of the most sparsely populated of US states, also plan to launch online casinos this month, but Delaware has no plans for online gaming compacts.
Boyd and MGM have partnered with Bwin.party Digital Entertainment while Golden Nugget has partnered with Bally Technologies to launch online poker businesses in Nevada.