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Monday, 18 June 2012 08:08

Bally and IGT to Provide Online Poker Games to Nevadans

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Nevada continues the march ahead towards legalised internet poker as talks progress and Bally is offered the first licence.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board took another step towards allowing intrastate poker by recommending that Bally Technologies be granted a licence to offer online poker games to Nevadans, closely followed by an approval granted to International Game Technology. More than 20 operators have submitted applications for a licence, which covers the setup and maintenance of a site offering internet poker.

Chairman of the NGCB Mark Lipparelli emphasised that this was only the first step forward in a long process. Both providers now need to appear before the Gaming Commission, which is scheduled to meet to discuss and approve the NGCB's recommendations later this week. After receiving a licence, the technology will need to be tested to ensure that the games will only be available to Nevadans who are aged 21 or over, and that it has controls in place to ensure that underage players cannot wager online. Lipparelli estimated that this process could take anywhere between 7-10 months.

In order to offer online poker services, companies are required to join forces with an existing Nevada casino and are not permitted to run a site independently. Both Bally and IGT have been preparing for this, with Bally signing a deal with Golden Nugget Casino. Bally operates a free poker site that can be switched to real money once the approval has been given.