Entain, the parent company of Party Poker and co-owner of BetMGM, gained a three-year interactive gaming license in Nevada. The company had applied for a permanent license, but the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) did not approve it.
What does interactive gaming mean? In Nevada, it means online betting and gaming. Currently, this refers to only online poker.
Entain had previously applied for a license in 2019, under the name of GVC Holdings, and was given a similar two-year license.
The company chose not to use it as it felt the market was not suitable at the time. As that license was set to expire in May, the company re-applied, hoping for a permanent license. As online gambling revenue rose to almost $67B, the company felt now is the right time to enter.
The last time Entain applied for a license, the Gaming Commission was not impressed with the company’s links to unlicensed gaming activities across multiple countries, mainly Turkey. Since then, there was a change in management and re-branding.
That was viewed positively by the Nevada Gaming Commission and was granted a three-year license rather than two. To gain permanent approval, the company must commit to achieving legal gaming activity in all of its markets. It already announced a plan to achieve that by 2023.
So when is Entain going live? That is unknown at this point, but Nevada is part of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) with New Jersey and Delaware, allowing operators to merge their player pool from the three states.
Currently, only WSOP.com is the only operator with a pool from all three states. Party Poker and BetMGM have been operating in New Jersey for almost a decade and can use that pool to launch in Nevada.
While we don’t know when and how Entain will launch in Nevada, but one thing is for sure, online gambling is a hot market. It is expected to reach $93 billion by 2023, and more companies are jumping on board as conditions are improving and markets are expanding.