The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has tentatively approved the planned operation of an inter-operator poker network that will allow Nevada players to access Caesars’ WSOP and Treasure Island’s poker rooms using a single gaming platform.
The proposed online poker network will include a third poker room representing the Gibraltar-based 888-poker site, which will maintain connections with the Treasure Island website and likewise become accessible through the networked system. After all, 888Poker provides the WSOP and Treasure Island online poker platform, which denotes that the integration of their poker systems to the proposed poker network would hardly pose as a problem.
Nevada regulators sees the technology as one that could serve as model for the online gaming network, which the states of Nevada and Delaware plan to set up in the near future. The shared interactive network is in line with the first U.S. interstate gaming compact signed last February 2014, by Nevada governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware governor Jack Markell. The agreement likewise designates 888Poker as the provider of the interstate gaming platform that will allow poker players located in the two compacting states, to participate in the online poker offerings of both regions.
After the members of the NGCB approving committee cast unanimous votes favoring the 888 online poker network proposal, NGCB Chairman A.G. Burnett commented, “Everyone here has been working hard to make the agreement with Delaware a reality.” Accordingly, the final ruling regarding the matter will be issued on July 24, 2014, while the live operation of the proposed poker network will still have to undergo the same round of testing procedures required by the NGCB regulators. In fact, the Treasure Island online poker site has not yet launched its Internet-based poker room, as it is still awaiting the approval of Nevada’s regulatory bodies.
888 lawyers Mark Clayton of Las Vegas and Yehoshua Gurtler of Israel explained during the hearing that an online poker network could increase the potential number of players participating in a single online poker site at any given time. The bonafide members of the networked poker rooms can join in any of the available poker offerings by logging in via their WSOP or Treasure Island gaming account.
Gurtler further stated that an online poker network could likely increase gaming tax collections, as the poker offerings will have greater drawing power in terms of player participation. In an interview after the hearing, Clayton stated, “both large and small casinos can join the network to help create more common online poker tables” while Guntler added, “the online poker network will allow casinos to gain a higher return on marketing efforts and offer a wider range of poker products.”.
In 2011, 888 Holdings received the first of the Nevada gaming license approvals granted to a foreign firm petitioning to participate in the state’s poker-only remote gambling industry. The UK-based poker company easily gained the joint approval of the NGCB and the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) on the strength of the company’s commitment “in doing what is right and doing what is legal.” The company holds a clean record as far as the 2011 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is concerned, since it made a decision to pull out of the U.S. online gambling market even before the then incumbent President George Bush, enacted the UIGEA.