Nevada Awards First Online Gambling Licenses

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The Nevada Gaming Commission issued its two licenses for online gambling yesterday, bringing the state a step closer to real money poker from home.

International Game Technology (IGT) and Bally Technologies Inc., both technology providers received approvals yesterday which begin to pave the way for the U.S. casino industry to expand into online gambling.

Another company, William Hill, Britain’s largest bookmaker (no relation to former comedian Benny Hill) has also just been granted an operator’s license on Thursday. Last year, William Hill paid $55 million for land based betting shops in Nevada and through them controls 55% of the Nevada sports book market.

Other operators such as MGM Resorts and Caesars and technology providers have also sought to obtain licenses and it is expected that more licenses will be issues in the coming weeks and online poker may start by the end of 2012, at least at the state level. There is still no clear indication that online poker will anytime soon be regulated at the Federal level, meaning that residents of one state can play against residents of another state.

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