First U.S. Online Poker License Awarded by Nevada to 888 Holdings

Online Casinos 888 and Net EntU.K. Based 888 Holdings makes a landmark achievement by being the first to gain a license to operate in the U.S. as an “Interactive Gaming Service Provider”. The online gaming giant is all set to re-launch its brand of online poker in the U.S. under the company name “All American Poker Network” (AAPN), a partnership formed with Avenue Capital Group. The latter provides the financial support by including AAPN in its hedge fund offering for both U.S. and foreign capital market investors.

Although 888 Holdings operates online casinos that offer all kinds of casino games, its Nevada operations through its land-based casino partners Treasure Island and Caesars Entertainment, is only for online poker. Unlike Delaware and New Jersey, which recognize online gambling in different types of casino games as legal, the State of Nevada recognizes online poker as the only lawful Internet game where players can place real money as wagers. Nonetheless, 888 Holdings has already forwarded proposals and applications for license in Delaware and New Jersey, and is likely to garner the approval of their respective gaming regulatory bodies.

Other U.S. states, which have pending legalization legislation, or on the brink of considering poker as the only casino game suitable for online gambling, are merely waiting for Nevada casinos to launch the AAPN website that will offer poker online. Many look to America’s gambling capital as the model for this new industry; thus, all eyes will be on AAPN to observe how the gaming site will work under Nevada’s regulatory scheme. More importantly, there is also the matter of ascertaining if indeed the projected economic advantages of online gambling outweigh the perceived disadvantages.

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Mark Whysall

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