Bally approved for interactive gaming

Jun 7, 2012 8:52 AM

Bally Technologies has moved to the front of the line in the U.S. becoming the first company to be recommended for an interactive gaming license by the State Gaming Control Board.

No other state has moved as quickly as Nevada to set the stage for interactive gaming – everything from poker to the eventual possibility of sports wagering and a variety of other games. The shape of things still to come all depends on what emerges from ongoing negotiations in Washington and other states.

What Bally needs now is a contract with a casino that meets Nevada standards for Internet and interactive gaming. The Bally application was the first of more than a dozen from companies hoping to service or play a role in shaping the future of interactive gaming as other state such as New Jersey develop their respective approaches to interactive gaming.

The Nevada Gaming Commission is expected to endorse the Board’s 3-0 approval of Bally as an interactive gaming supplier when it meets June 21. The same body’s likely approval of slot manufacturer IGT for a similar license to create and operate software will also be considered by the Commission June 21.

Bally CEO Richard Haddrill called the Control Board’s 3-0 recommendation “historic” in the 80-year history of the company that once owned the largest share of the Nevada slot market before it began to feel the pressure of competition from IGT and other companies.

“A lot of the players who had stopped for six months to a year waiting for the moment to happen are now going to come back,” said Jonathan Duhamel, the 2010 World Series of Poker champion upon hearing the news of the Bally approval. “The more people that are playing, the better it is.”

Bally plans to offer its iGaming platform technology and content to casino operators, enabling them to enable them to provide online gaming to their customers. The iGaming platform’s “open architecture” enables operators to chose the best content from a variety of providers. It is also designed for mobile integration and can accommodate poker, table games, video slots and even sports wagering as it becomes available.

The effort by Nevada casino regulators to move quickly with the approval of technology and regulations that will keep the state’s number one industry on the cutting edge of changes has kept Control Board and Commission members busy dealing with applications from a number of companies both foreign and domestic.

This attitude and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s promise to defy a federal prohibition and allow Atlantic City casinos to offer sports wagering (yes, litigation is expected) has helped to whet appetites for high tech add-ons and kept interest in interactive gaming at a high level.

The best example of this is how Cantor Gaming has already used its high tech features at the Las Vegas sports books it operates to show how new technology can have a significant impact on sports wagering.

(GamingToday sports editor Mark Mayer contributed to the story).