Fertitta Interactive applies for a Nevada gaming licence

Nevada Gaming Control BoardThe Las Vegas based online gaming company Fertitta Interactive has put in an application with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to acquire an online poker operator’s licence as well as providing technology to other operators. Fertitta Interactive is co-owned by brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitti who also own almost 50% of Station Casinos. This Nevada licence is in preparation for the possibility that online poker will become legal in the United States.
Since the United States Department of Justice released an opinion outlining a change in policy regarding the type of gambling covered by the 1961 Wire Act the different states have the possibility to legalise and regulate online poker and online gaming in their own states. The legal opinion stated that “Interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to “a sporting event or contest” fall outside the reach of the Wire Act”. (See article: Change in Policy on Online Gaming by the United States Department of Justice).At the moment the states are involved in a race to see which will be the first to legalise online gaming and poker. Nevada appears to be in the lead but within the United States there is division with some states wanting complete autonomy in deciding to liberalise their own gaming laws to include online gaming and those states which would prefer federal regulation of online gaming. Fertitta Interactive places great emphasis on regulation and has stated that the company chose to file its application for a gaming licence in Nevada as the state is extremely strong on online gaming regulation.

The same reason regarding regulation had an influence on Fertitta Interactive’s decision to purchase Cyber Arts Licensing, an online gaming software designer and provider in October 2011. Fertitta bought Cyber Arts also with a view to providing online poker if federal laws permitting online gaming are passed.

Earlier in 2011 Fertitta Interactive had entered a joint venture with Full Tilt Poker to launch an online poker website dependant on the federal legalisation of online poker. This deal fell through after Black Friday when FBI agents closed the websites of Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker and issued international arrest warrants for the directors of these companies. (See article: Prosecution for Money Laundering linked to online Gambling).

The situation in the United States regarding the legalisation of online poker is far from being resolved but with this Nevada Gaming Control Board licence application, Fertitti Interactive is prepared for a future legalisation of online poker in the United States.

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