On Friday it was announced that UK-based 888.com has become the first entirely Internet-only betting firm to receive a license to operate in a US state. With the Nevada Gaming Commission approval, 888 will work with casino company Caesars and slot machine operator WMS to give their offerings an online presence. A source said that the launch could happen as soon as May. 888 CEO Brian Mattingley called the approval “an historic moment” for the company.
What’s the Big Idea?
The 2006 passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which banned real-money online gambling, caused sites like 888 to retreat from the US. However, Congress is set to reconsider national legislation in light of states’ recent actions. Both Nevada and New Jersey approved Internet betting within their borders this year, and other sites, such as 888’s rival bwin.party, are well-positioned for reentry. As the world’s largest-listed betting firm, bwin said earlier this month that it would turn away from smaller, unregulated markets and place more focus on the US and other soon-to-be regulated markets.