If you’ve been following the news in the United States over the last few months, you know that regulated online poker is about to begin in at least a couple of states. The first state to approve an online poker regulatory system was Nevada, and they are currently in the process of reviewing applications and awarding licenses to potential operators and software developers.
Now, there’s a frontrunner in the race to be the first company to bring a site to the Nevada market. The South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas is hoping to receive a license as soon as next month, and hopes to open their site as early as September – a few months earlier than regulators had anticipated the first online rooms would go live.
South Point Casino has a few advantages that may help them get to the market before their competitors. First, the casino has already setup their room – South Point Poker – for play money poker, a service that has been available since October 2011. That has allowed them to get ahead of the game somewhat, as they’ve already been able to begin the process of independent testing that is required along with a license in order to operating an online poker room under the Nevada regulations.
“We’re finishing up our second wave of testing and so far no problems,” said Michael Gaughan, CEO of South Point Casino. “I may not be the biggest or the best, but hopefully I’ll have a head start by two or three months.”
While Gaughan believes that the site is essentially ready to launch now, he acknowledges that the demands of state regulators could still delay real money play.
“Because we are the first one, the regulator is putting a few more restrictions on us, and wants us to start a little slower that we world like,” he said. “We will conform to their wishes.”