888 Network Approved in Nevada; Interstate on the way?

888logoNevada regulators have tentatively approved 888’s plans for an online poker network in Nevada according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 888 has planned on the creation of the network from the very beginning and Nevada regulators have embraced the idea, making today’s announcement little more than a formality.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board unanimously approved the network proposal, and now the only remaining hurdle (another seeming formality) is a Nevada Gaming Commission vote scheduled for July 24.

While the approval was expected, the most interesting part of today’s announcement is that it appears WSOP.com will be joining the 888 Network (dubbed the All American Poker Network). The plan laid out to the NGCB is for WSOP.com (Caesars) and Treasure Island to operate on the same network as well as a third site operating under 888’s brand.

From the very beginning, WSOP.com was supposedly going to remain a separate online poker site and not join the AAPN, at least not initially. The AAPN was supposed to be made up of Treasure Island and The Wynn, with 888 perhaps launching their own branded online poker site as well.

However, Wynn has waffled on online poker (Steve Wynn is currently against it and has put any online expansion on hold) and with the signing of an interstate agreement between Delaware and Nevada, WSOP.com would likely be left out unless they joined the AAPN –888 powers Delaware’s online poker sites and is likely to be the only interstate operator for the foreseeable future.

Reading between the lines

In addition to the very intriguing news that WSOP.com may join the AAPN, today’s announcement also indicates two other developments may be announced in the near future:

  1. Treasure Island and 888 will soon be launching their online poker sites in Nevada
  2. The interstate agreement between Delaware and Nevada may launch soon after the NGC vote on July 24

Both of these things work hand-in-hand with one another.

The Interstate agreement between the two states has been on a late Summer timetable since it was first announced back in February, but it’s not going to happen until 888 launches their AAPN site(s) in Nevada.

The reason being, 888 has a monopoly on Delaware’s online poker sites.

The launch of TI and 888’s poker rooms now seems very likely to happen in the coming weeks, and from there it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to interstate online poker.

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