The Nevada Gaming Commission approved a license for a company called 888 to provide legal online gambling services.
“This is an historic moment for 888. This is the first time a company uniquely providing online gaming has been licensed by any US jurisdiction,” said Brian Mattingley, Chief Executive Officer of 888. “Seen in the industry as the gold standard of global gaming regulation, we are delighted to have been awarded our licence to operate in the State of Nevada, a decision that vindicates our US strategy.”
888 has formed strategic partnerships with Caesars Casino to create an online version of Caesars’ World Series of Poker, and with WMS a slot machine company to create online slots games. Online gaming is expected to be up and running by July.
“We look forward to working with all our strategic partners and to re-launching the 888 brand in the US following the finalisation of platform approval.” Mattingley said.
To start, whatever 888 builds in Nevada will only be legal in the state of Nevada. Congress banned Internet gambling in 2006. Attitudes supporting the prohibition of gambling, both online and in real life are relaxing. States are chipping away at laws that prohibit casinos from operating so they can tax and regulate it.
888 will be poised to expand to more and more states as laws change to allow the company’s operation. New Jersey legalized Internet gambling last month, and Delaware legalized it last summer.
Last December, 888 announced a deal with Facebook to “launch real-money products over the world’s most popular social network.” They started with a bingo app and will soon launch a casino game that includes slots and “other popular games” soon.
Itai Frieberger, COO of 888 said, “We are working closely with Facebook on this launch ensuring we introduce the best of both worlds of real money and social gaming.”
The Facebook deal is limited to allowing real money games in the UK, but that deal and the Nevada deal show 888 is walking through open doors wherever it can find them. They’ll have an advantage as online gambling is legalized in more places around the world.