Nevada Approves First Two Online Poker Licenses For IGT, Bally

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The Nevada Gaming Commission has approved online poker licenses for both International Game Technology and Bally Technologies this week, marking the first successful bids by the group of 30 applicants within the state.

Now that the two firms have had their licenses approved they must now make sure that their gaming software is approved by a testing agency before they can begin offering their services to players within the state, however both companies have announced that their strategy is to offer their products to other licensed operators in order to not directly compete with casinos. Both Bally and IGT are among the world's largest gaming suppliers for land casinos.

Speaking about his company's new license, IGT Vice President of Emerging Businesses Robert Melendres said: "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.''

Although he has not given specifics, Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli stated that he believes online poker in Nevada will go live either later this year or in early 2013.