Caesar/888 partnership moves a step closer to reality.

You can add Caesars Interactive Entertainment—and the World Series of Poker—to the growing list of online poker businesses in Nevada. The Nevada Gaming Commission officially granted Caesars a license Thursday to operate in the Silver State.

The state’s gaming regulators have already approved a partnership with Caesars and European operator 888 Holdings. The joint venture already runs real money World Series of Poker-branded online poker rooms in the European market.

Caesars executives have said their Nevada site could launch early next year. The next step is 888 receiving a license as an interactive gaming provider.

12 other companies have already been approved as online poker operators in Nevada, including MGM, ACEP, South Point, Boyd and Golden Nugget. Five more have secured licenses related to online poker, including IGT and Shuffle Master, to provide services and infrastructure.

South Point initially hoped to go live by the end of 2012, but delays in testing have reportedly pushed back the launch date. The industry now looks to Spring 2013 as a likely launch date for at least two or three operators.

Late last month, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and Treasure Island joined the list of applicants for online poker operator licenses, which would make intrastate poker nearly as prevalent on the web as live poker rooms on the Las Vegas strip.