Historic Online Casino License Goes To 888 Holdings In Nevada

For years there have been debates over which online gambling company would be the first to be licensed in the US. This week, that question was answered when 888 Holdings received the historic first license in Nevada.

Of all the companies that could have been licensed in Nevada, the odds were that a US, Las Vegas-based company would gain the first license. It surprised some that it was a foreign company that ended up securing the first license.

“This is a historic moment for 888,” said 888 CEO Brian Mattingley. “This is the first time a company uniquely providing online gaming has been licensed by any US jurisdiction.”

The process actually began in early March, when regulators in Nevada recommended that 888 receive a license. The move on Thursday to grant the license speeds up the process of having the first US online casino become operational.

According to 888, there is a chance that their online poker room will be open by mid-May. That would end a race between Nevada and New Jersey to see which state could open the first online casino.

New Jersey still has time to counter the move by Nevada this week, but it is unlikely they would be able to get regulations in place quick enough to beat Nevada to online gambling. No matter which state wins the race, both are positioned to become leaders in the online gambling industry as it grows in the coming years.

Nevada casinos have been struggling for several years thanks to the gaming boom in Macau. Many Asian gamblers now choose to stay close to home rather than travel across the world to gamble.

The economy prompted dozens of states to consider regulating online gambling, and Nevada, the gaming leader in the US, became the first to do so last year. Delaware and New Jersey have followed, and analysts believe that many more will follow now that the door has opened to the industry.

888 has been busy creating partnerships in the US. They first partnered with Treasure Island in Las Vegas, and later with Caesars. The Caesars partnership could be a groundbreaking one, as the two companies plan to launch an online version of the popular World Series of Poker that is held each summer in Las Vegas.

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