On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved Caesars Interactive Entertainment for as the 12th such company to be awarded online poker license. Caesars, the new face and persona of Harrah’s, will be partnering with European gambling powerhouse 888 Holdings to bring online poker to Nevada-based residents. The two companies already have a working relationship in the UK, where they have been offering the World Series of Poker brand for the last three years.
All that stands between Caesars and a US-friendly WSOP on US soil is 888’s online gaming license, which is still in the paperwork process. Both companies hope they will have a site up and running in the early part of 2013, the timing of which will be entirely dependent on the approval by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Approval is likely as the Board unanimously approved the relationship between Caesars and 888 back in March 2011. 888 Holdings remains in good standing in the US as it pulled its business out of the country following the passage of UIGEA, something its competitors were a bit more sluggish in doing. In order to provide online poker to Nevada residents, it must partner with a brick-and-mortar casino; Caesar’s, with its bricks and mortar in such casinos as the Rio, the Flamingo, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s, and the Horseshoe, certainly fits the bill.
Despite receiving its license behind companies like MGM, South Point, and the Golden Nugget, Caesar’s expected launch date could be ahead of its competitors. Other companies still in line for licenses like Zynga, Treasure Island, and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, are chomping at the bit to get in on the action.