Irish bookie Paddy Power took a pivotal first step towards establishing a US business yesterday when was it was granted a finding of suitability to operate in Nevada by gaming regulators.
The approval by the five-member Nevada Gaming Commission last night, for which Paddy Power submitted itself to the investigative process ahead of applying for a licence or buying a business in the State, is the first of its kind issued to a gaming company.
The suitability finding lasts for two years.
Paddy Power CEO Patrick Kennedy told the Commission it was also actively looking at gaming opportunities in other American markets, as well as Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The operator was understood to have originally applied for licensing as a manufacturer and distributor of gaming equipment and as a mobile operator back in August 2010.
Casino supplier Shuffle Master, already licensed as a manufacturer and distributor of land-based gaming equipment in Nevada, was also granted additional approval by state regulators to manufacture and provide interactive gaming systems.
Shuffle Master’s chief strategy officer Lou Castle said at the company’s preliminary hearing before the Nevada Gaming Control Board earlier this month that its immediate plan was to develop free-play social media versions of its existing games already supplied in legal online gaming markets, such as Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Caribbean Stud Poker, with a view to converting players of these games in the US to real-money play in land-based casinos.
Shuffle Master’s licensing for online gaming is the third such approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission since the state passed its interactive gaming regulations at the start of this year, after those issued to Bally Technologies and IGT last month.