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US-Bally and IGT approved as online service providers

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Bally and IGT have scooped the Nevada Gaming Commission’s first two interactive gaming service provider and manufacturer licenses allowing both to partner with Nevada casino groups  to provide online poker to their customers.

The approvals take the gambling state one step closer to launching an online market that may reach $13.4bn in five years, according to gaming-centric analyst H2 Gambling Capital. Over 20 companies have applied to the Gaming Commission for a licence with more approvals expected to follow soon.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli said online gambling could be launched in the state  late in 2012 or early in 2013.

Nevada is the first state to adopt a statute allowing interactive gaming and the first state to adopt regulations for online gaming of any kind.

Bally Technologies’ Chief Executive Officer Richard Haddrill said: “We look forward to Bally expanding its leadership role in this exciting new arena of online gaming.”

Bally Technologies will be offering its iGaming platform technology and content to casino operators. The Company’s iGaming platform features an open architecture, which enables operators to choose from best-of-breed content from a multitude of providers. The iGaming platform is also designed for mobile integration and is ready to accommodate online wagering beyond poker, such as casino table games, video slots, bingo, social, and sports wagering when authorized. It expects to make incremental investments in its interactive division during fiscal 2013 and beyond to ensure leadership in business-to-business iGaming support for the casino industry.

Patti Hart, IGT chief executive officer, added: “This is an exciting day for interactive wager-based gaming. We’re honoured to be granted the opportunity to support our customers as they further expand their operations to include online play in the State of Nevada.”

With over a decade of interactive gaming experience, including being the only American supplier to operate a poker network today, IGT is primed to become the provider of choice for its customers in Nevada as plans for online poker moves forward in the state. Now that the NGC has made its ruling, next steps will include the technical approval of each company’s poker product.

“This license, backed by our decade of interactive experience, will allow us to enable our casino partners with a way to provide wager-based online poker to their players,” added Robert Melendres, Vice President of Emerging Businesses at IGT.

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