he partnership is the first time the Gaming Control Board has entertained an application with an Internet gaming company, Chairman Mark Lipparelli said.
Meanwhile, state lawmakers convened in Carson City for a hearing on legislation that would make online poker legal for Nevada residents. But that measure faces significant opposition from the casino industry. Industry giants — such as Caesars Entertainment and MGM Grand Resorts — have made it clear that they would prefer federal, and not state, regulation of online gambling.
"I'd be willing to bet that no major gaming legislation has ever passed in Nevada that has been opposed by the state's largest casinos," said I. Nelson Rose, a Whittier Law School professor and expert in gambling law.
Alan Feldman, a spokesman for MGM Resorts, said the regulation must happen at the federal level. "Otherwise we end up with a patchwork of rules and regulations," he said.
States in recent months have made their own push to legalize online gambling for their residents. Florida and California are considering bills. New Jersey lawmakers passed legislation that would have made the state the first to allow online gambling, but Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the measure this month.