The South Point land based casino in Nevada hopes to become the first legal online poker room to operate within the state’s borders. Intrastate internet gambling is slowly moving forward in several states whereas it will be some time before the question of interstate online gambling across state boundaries is resolved.
Nevada’s state Gaming Control Board recently granted South Point Casino provisional approval to operate online poker. This is the first step towards gaining a full licence from the Nevada Gaming Commission in a few weeks time. The casino owned by Mark Gaughan is hoping to have this licence before the end of August.Since last year when the announcement of applications for licences was made, the South Point Casino has been working towards being the first to offer Nevada players online poker legally. It made its application as the operator, manufacturer and service provider of this new internet poker room and in so doing has been ahead of most of the other licence applicants. South Point developed its own gaming software which is being tested by an independent laboratory.
Once the casino is granted its licence from the Nevada Gaming Commission it will need to have the inspection of its technology completed before it can operate its online poker room. This process will be quicker for South Point since its system is internal. Most of the other applicants for licences will enter partnerships with existing gaming companies and as all software has to be inspected this could delay the launch of their internet poker rooms by up to six months. Several well known companies such as Bally Technologies and IGT were among the first groups to be granted licences in Nevada as service providers to online poker operators but these companies will lose out to South Point in the race to launch their websites as they will have to form partnerships with casino operators as well as have their technology tested.
The South Point Casino hopes to have its real money poker site up and running in the autumn. For almost a year the South Point casino has been operating a free poker site in the run up to their application to operate a real money poker website. The casino will offer both online and land based gambling and hopes that its reputation as a land based casino will help increase its popularity as an online poker operator.