We haven’t been updating you guys with every company that has applied for a Nevada Internet Gaming License, but we thought that’d we’d tell everyone about the newest applicant. It has been confirmed that Bwin.Party has applied for an operator license with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. There have now been a total of 24 companies to apply for a license in Nevada and it’s expected that legal online poker rooms will be opening in Nevada later this year.
Party Poker was once the largest online poker room in the United States and it would be huge for them to re-enter the market in the state of Nevada. Party Poker stopped accepting US players and completely left the US online poker market back in 2006. In 2006 the USA passed the UIGEA and Party Poker was forced to leave the market or face prosecution. Party Poker also paid a huge sum of $105M and signed a Non-Prosecution Agreement to ensure the US couldn’t prosecute Party Poker in the future. It will be interesting to see if deals such as party poker rakeback will be allowed under Nevada regulations.
Party Gaming and Bwin merged companies in April 2011 and have been busy forming other partnerships with other companies in the United States. Bwin.Party has partnered with MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming. Bwin.Party will run an online poker room for both US companies in Nevada. The deal is good for Bwin.Party because they’ll receive 65% of the revenue for running the entire online operation and providing the technology.
The joint venture will see MGM receive a 25% stake and Boyd Gaming receiving a 10% stake. With online poker getting closer to becoming a reality in Nevada it looks like this joint venture will be able to launch shortly. Jim Ryan who is the CEO of Bwin.Party stated in an interview that this joint venture will provide the company a lot of liquidity. Bwin.Party could potentially regain the #1 spot in terms of US poker traffic once the market opens up, but there will be a lot of competition.
NJ Governor Approves of the Online Gaming Bill
In other US online poker legal news, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that he endorses the online gaming bill, which means that the bill could be passed sooner rather than later. One other obstacle in NJ was that racetracks wanted to be cut in on the action and apparently an amendment to the bill is going to be made. If the amendment is made the bill should have no other opposition and should be passed, which would make the state of New Jersey to legalize all forms on online gambling.