Three gambling groups were awarded licenses to operate online poker in Nevada, including MGM Resorts. It was widely expected that MGM would have no problem obtaining the license from the Nevada Gaming Commission due to its excellent reputation in the US gambling world.
Questions were raised this week regarding MGM’s partnership with the European gambling giant, Bwin.Party, which saw one of its co-CEO’s Norbert Teufelberger arrested by Belgian authorities over the group’s activities in Belgium, where Bwin.Party is blacklisted.
While the Nevada Gaming Commissioner, Tony Alamo said that he had a “warm and fuzzy” feeling about MGM’s operations in the state, he could offer no guarantees to Bwin, which is also after a license. The Commission could only say that Bwin would “probably” have its request approved.
Party Gaming, which merged with Bwin, already completed most of the groundwork by paying a $105 million fine to US authorities for operating in the country before the Unlawful Internet Enforcement Act came into being in 2006.
MGM, in the meantime, is confident that Bwin won’t face any problems when it begins its own licensure hearing. “We look forward to them coming before this Commission,” said MGM.
Nevada authorities have now publicly admitted that online poker in the Silver State will be a “loss leader” as US citizens wait for changes to come at a federal level. However, all those applying for licenses know that in order to get their foot in the door of operating online poker sites on a federal scale, they will need to begin small, and the Nevada license is the right way to go.
The other two groups to receive their Nevada online poker licenses this week were Z4Poker LLC and Cams LLC.