PokerTrip Enterprises holds the distinction of being the first affiliate to be licensed in the state of Nevada and that wasn’t lost on CEO Jon Friedberg. It’s even more remarkable considering that Friedberg, a veteran of the poker circuit as a player for years, is still a relative neophyte in the affiliates industry.
Our very own Rebecca Liggero recently caught up with Friedberg to discuss a number of topics about PokerTrip Enterprises, including their decision to apply for an online affiliate license in Nevada, the process of getting the license, and advise on anybody looking to enter the online affiliate market in the US.
In talking about PokerTrips’ move to apply for an affiliate license in Nevada, Friedberg said: “To sum it up best, we are currently a very popular destination for information on where to play land-based poker and it just seemed like a natural expansion for us to move into the online world where we’re already the hub where people come to find out where to play in Las Vegas and elsewhere.”
“And with the online gaming world coming to Nevada and hopefully, other areas in the US soon, it just seemed like a natural fit for us,” he added.
As far as the process of actually getting the license, Friedberg admitted that it wasn’t a slam dunk routine, but was a case of extensive preparations on the company’s part to satisfy all the requirements that were needed to get the ball rolling.
“The whole process from the day we filed took about seven months and then there was another four to six weeks of preparing all the materials prior to that,” Friedberg said.
Clearly, both the Stage Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission wanted to leave no stones unturned before handing down approvals to all the applications, something Friedberg noted when he told Liggero the amount of paperwork and background checks done on the company.
“Obviously, [there were] tons of signatures, lots of applications…but also…bank statements, financial transactions, real estate transactions, involvement in any other companies, information on the shareholders…and their spouses,” he said.
“It’s just a very, very thorough professional, personal, criminal, employment, and financial background check on myself and anybody involved in the company.”
In the end, it seems logical to ask the question on whether all that whole work and all the information-gathering, as Friedberg describes it, will be worth it, especially if there’s still a lot of gray area on what the online gaming market in Nevada is going to look like in the future.
To his credit, Friedberg is confident that all that handwork, and presumably, the loss of hair and expedited aging, will be worth it in the end, mainly because PokerTrip Enterprises’ player base and community members comprise of the Nevada player base, making it a natural expansion based on their presence in Nevada.
Any talk involving the affiliate industry in the online gambling world will inevitable lead to the question of whether the affiliate industry in the online gambling world are going to be licensed in the US if they’ve been active in the online poker market in the US in the past.
Drawing from his own experiences and by way of following the industry very closely in recent years, Friedberg thinks that these companies involved in US-facing companies will have a difficult time getting licensed in the US.
That doesn’t appear to be a problem for PokerTrip Enterprises, which already has a Nevada license to be proud of. This, of course, puts Friedberg in an enviable position yet when asked to give out advice on anybody looking to dive into the online affiliate industry and get licensed, the man was more than happy to oblige.
“Be patient with the process,” he said. “It’s a very long process. It’s very tedious. There are a lot of information requests, lots of questions that need to be answered. But its all for a good reason.”