Shuffle Master is the latest provider to officially be granted a license to prove iPoker services to Nevada casinos. Earlier today, the company became the third company to receive approval by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Bally Technologies and International Game Technology are the other two companies.
Shuffle Master’s license does not give them the right to actually offer the gaming to the public. Instead, they will serve as a third-party service provider to casinos that wish to offer online poker services. The Las Vegas company provides a variety of online and gaming services including electronic table games, automatic card shufflers, and more.
Shuffle Master has said that they will focus on targeting social media gaming in order to try and build their player databases. Social gaming is currently the largest form of online gaming in the world with Zynga holding the lion’s share of social media users. How successful they will be remains to be seen, especially seeing that Zynga is moving forward with plans to offer live gaming.
In addition, it will be interesting to see whether Shuffle Master develops their own technology or acquires another company at the last minute. They were slated to purchased the Ongame Network but backed out after claiming that Ongame would not meet their expectations on near-term financial results.
Companies that have been granted a license must now go through testing and certification of their technology before they are allowed to go live with gaming. Initially, a timeframe of six months was estimated for any company that was licensed. If that is the case, anyone using Shuffle Master as a provider would be looking at January 2013 as their go-live date.