The South Point Casino's aim to become the first legalized intrastate online poker room in Nevada took a giant step on Wednesday. In a hearing with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, South Point received preliminary approval to offer real-money online poker as an operator, manufacturer and service provider.
South Point will now seek final license approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission on Aug. 23.
South Point CEO Mark Gaughan told eGaming Review last month that his real-money online poker site would be the first to launch in Nevada. Gaughan predicted his site would be ready to launch as early as September, but an attorney for the company said on Wednesday that the site could be up and running by October.
Once the company receives a license later this month, it will need to complete the inspection process of its technology before it can offer real-money online poker. The developer of South Point's online poker system said Wednesday that the site's technology could reach the second level of approval by an independent testing lab this month, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Howard Stutz.
South Point has been running a free-to-play online poker room at SouthPointPoker.com since late last year, but Gaughan says the real-money site will have new software.
Gaming suppliers IGT, Bally Technologies and Shuffle Master were the first companies to receive licenses to act as service providers for Internet poker operators in Nevada. However, because South Point's poker platform will run internally, it will get the jump on other providers that will have to wait up to six months for their technologies to be tested by the board and the state. The suppliers will also need to line up partnerships with Nevada casino operators to provide online poker within state lines.
Monarch Interactive, another one of the 30-plus companies that applied for online poker licensing in Nevada, also received approval from the gaming board on Wednesday.
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