South Point Poker, Monarch Casino Receive First Nevada Online Poker Operator Licenses

In a historic though largely ceremonial move, South Point Poker LLC, the online face of Las Vegas’ South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, today received unanimous approval for one of Nevada’s first two operator’s licenses to provide online poker to Nevada’s residents.

The Nevada Gaming Commission also formally approved Reno’s Monarch Casino as a site operator, though Monarch has yet to forge ahead with its own online plans. A third applicant, Global Cash Access Holdings (GCA), also received final approval.

The formal approvals by the NGC came roughly two weeks after South Point Poker and its sole owner, Michael Gaughan, sailed through a suitability hearing. Monarch and GCA passed suitability hearings in the same session as South Point Poker.

South Point Poker becomes the first site operator to receive the formal go-ahead among approximately a dozen applications for operator and 30 applications in total, and is expected to roll out its initial real-money poker games by the end of 2012 once final testing is complete.

The three entities approved today join a short list of service and manufacturing firms who have also received formal Nevada approval in recent months. Along with South Point, Monarch and GCA, business entities receiving formal approval to date include Bally Technologies Inc., International Game Technology (IGT), and Shuffle Master Inc.