Yesterday, during a tour of the new corporate headquarters in Las Vegas for BMM International, one of two laboratories that tests gaming equipment for Nevada regulators, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said that he had preliminary talks with other state governors on partnering with Nevada on Internet poker.
He didn´t say which states he was in preliminary talks with but gaming sources close to the governor´s office think Texas could be a target.
Gov. Sandoval said “I’ve talked with a few governors and I’m introducing the concept of compacting, it’s very much in the early stages and we have a great opportunity because we have the infrastructure and other states have the players,” and he added “I’m hopeful we’ll continue to talk.”
Nevada is the first state to have the only active and legal internet poker website in the nation, however it won´t be the only one for long. New Jersey and Delaware have already passed bills and made the way for licensing and several other states like California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Iowa, are exploring their options.
Gov. Brian Sandoval is known to be very enthusiastic about allowing internet poker in Nevada since the beginning. In February, it took less than 7 hours for Nevada lawmakers to pass Assembly Bill 114 and Sandoval to sign the measure into law. Assembly Bill 114 allowed Gov. Brian Sandoval to move ahead with online poker without needing any federal legalization. Eventually on April 30, Ultimate Poker became the first legal real money poker website in Nevada. Ultimate Poker, which is owned by Station Casinos, already dealt its 1 millionth hand last Tuesday.
Ultimate Poker won´t be alone for too long though. Other websites already applied for licenses and they are in the process of being approved by testing labs and Nevada gaming regulators.
“We’re already ahead of other markets, people are signing up (for Ultimate Poker) from all over the world. Other companies are in the queue.” said Gov. Brian Sandoval and he added: “There are some things that have to happen in other states before compacts can be signed. Texas, for example, needs to legalize Internet poker and lawmakers have until May 27 to pass the measure before the regular legislative session ends.”
Sandoval is happy with Nevada’s progress in Internet gaming although the websites seem to be slow in coming to market. “(The Gaming Control Board) needs to be extremely careful on how they do this,” Sandoval said. “Over time, people will forget about that part and see how successful it will become.” His tour of BMM International´s new corporate headquarters in Las Vegas for BMM International was more than a regular visit for Gov. Sandoval. BMM, which worked on Ultimate Poker approval, moved from a 7,500-square-foot facility on Eastern Avenue, to a 23,500-square-foot building on Pilot Road in the McCarran Executive Center and BMM Vice President of Operations Travis Foley said the number of employees at the facility has doubled since the move to 65. BBM plans to hire another 100 employees depending on the increase in business.
Gov. Sandoval was delighted: “This is exactly what we had hoped for when the law was approved, BMM is a wonderful Nevada success story.”