888 Expects to Launch Online Poker in Nevada This Summer
Nevada residents are still waiting for the launch of the first legal, real-money online poker room in the Silver State. According to 888 Holdings CEO Brian Mattingley, they won't have to wait much longer.
Mattingley told Reuters Tuesday that the company expects to launch its online poker offering in Nevada by this summer. 888 is waiting for its software to be approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board before it can go live via three online gaming partners in the state. The control board has been testing the software of providers since last year.
888, which owns and operates 888poker outside of the U.S., will provide an online poker platform for Caesars Interactive Entertainment and its World Series of Poker-branded online poker site, as well as slot machine manufacturer WMS Industries and Treasure Island. 888 has nonexclusive business-to-business deals with all three companies in Nevada.
Mattingley told PokerNews last year that 888 will be "well positioned" to perform strongly in Nevada. On Tuesday, he told Reuters that the company is also seeking approval to operate in New Jersey, which legalized online gambling in February.
The Nevada Gaming Commission has approved more than 20 companies for interactive gaming licenses already, including MGM Resorts International, Fertitta Interactive, Boyd Gaming and the Golden Nugget. None of the licensed operators have announced an official launch date for online poker, but many expect to be up and running by the end of the year.
Mattingley said the company will begin to see how much of an impact the U.S. poker market has on its bottom line starting in 2015. 888 will increase its marketing budget in the U.S. next year while it competes for a share of the online poker market.