South Point owner Michael Gaughan received initial approval Wednesday to proceed with launching a real-money intrastate poker website.
The State Gaming Control Board in Carson City recommended approval of his Las Vegas company South Point Poker LLC as Nevada’s first interactive gaming operator.
The Nevada Gaming Commission will consider the application Aug. 23.
Three slot and game manufacturers have received state approval as interactive gaming service providers.
Gaughan is now poised to be the first physical casino operator to operate real-money online poker within the borders of Nevada.
Gaughan staff said that subject to final technical and regulatory approvals, actual wagering with field tests could begin in October.
The three-member Control Board unanimously approved Gaughan’s application, as members noted Gaughan is well known as a responsible and financially-stable gaming licensee.
Gaughan staff members said their online poker system has safeguards to ensure players are at least 21, are in Nevada and are not involved in cheating or money laundering.
It also has a system to deter problem gambling. People can exclude themselves from wagering on the site.
Gaughan's company, which has developed its own online poker system, was also recommended for licensing Wednesday as an interactive gaming manufacturer and as a service provider.
Also recommended for licensure Wednesday as an interactive gaming operator was Monarch Interactive of Reno, whose investors control the Atlantis resort there. Monarch officials said they plan to partner with a licensed interactive service provider for their online poker site now in the planning stages.
A third recommendation was approved for Global Cash Access Holdings of Las Vegas, this one as an interactive gaming service provider.
Global Cash, which provides ATM and credit services in bricks-and-mortar casinos, is in talks with Gaughan's poker site to provide a method for South Point online poker players to buy and redeem chips.
Global Cash a day earlier announced an alliance with ''online wallet" company Live Gamer that will help Global Cash arrange such online transactions.
Gaming regulators said the recommendations approved Wednesday were the first in what will be a steady stream of Nevada physical casino operators seeking approval in coming months for online poker sites.
The sites seeking approval are not offering video poker or blackjack in which the gambler is betting against the casino. Rather, poker players will play against each other online, with the website operator taking a cut of the funds wagered.