BUSINESS

Private firms to test Nevada’s online poker security; Cantor IPO; MGM cyber-win

TAGs: Cantor Gaming, cybersquatting, MGM Resorts, Nevada gaming control board, Shuffle Master

nevada-online-poker-mgm-resorts-cantor-gaming-ipoNevada will employ private firms to help test the safety and security of its new online poker licensees’ technology. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) issued a notice on Jan. 5 announcing that it was “accepting applications for registration of independent testing laboratories” prior to the adoption of the state’s AB 279 online poker regulations, the basic framework of which was approved just before Christmas. The GCB is currently drafting more detailed versions of these regs, which it will publish on its website “in the coming weeks.” A regulatory public workshop in Las Vegas is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 22, while the final draft of the regs must be adopted prior to May 1, 2012. CardPlayer quoted UNLV’s Director of the Center for Gaming Research Dr. David Schwartz as saying independent companies’ help was necessary because there was a ‘bottleneck’ in the state’s testing labs.

Cantor Entertainment Technology (CET) aka Cantor Gaming is one of seven companies (so far) to submit an application to Nevada regulators in relation to the new online poker scheme. Cantor, which already operates multiple sportsbooks at Las Vegas casinos and provides mobile gambling within casino boundaries via its proprietary eDeck device, is seeking to become a service provider for one of the casino giants that eventually receives an operators’ license. Looking to feed off all the promise and potential in the air (and maybe some of that confusion the AGA’s always talking about), CET is preparing to take itself public. No date has yet been scheduled, but CET hopes to raise $100m via the offering, a pretty penny considering the company had an operating loss of $16.6m in the first nine months of 2011 (on revenues of only $7.7m), owes $144m to parent company Cantor Fitzgerald, not to mention the minor matter of owner Howard Lutnick’s intention to retain 100% control of the company via ‘supervoting’ shares. Damn, Howard… You had us at ‘hello’…

MGM Resorts International has been granted a preliminary injunction against the ‘entrepreneurs’ cybersquatting on MGM-related domains. As first reported on iGamingBusiness.com, federal Judge Philip Pro ordered hosting companies GoDaddy.com Inc., Wild West Domains Inc. and Melbourne IT Inc. to place the domains — including bellagioonlinepoker.com, mandalaybayonlinepoker.com, etc. – on hold and to lock and deposit them with the Court. Judge Pro’s decision stated that MGM was likely to “suffer irreparable injury to its valuable trademarks and associated goodwill” if the cybersquatters were allowed to carry on squatting. Pro also remarked that MGM was “likely to succeed on the merits of its claims for cyber squatting and trademark infringement.” MGM has been on a cyber-suing binge of late, having filed suit just last week against a Hong Kong company for cybersquatting shenanigans.

Shuffle Master Inc. has acquired Fire Bet, a craps side bet with over 330 installs across America, from HopBet Inc. Calling Fire Bet “one of the elite products in table games,” Shuffle Master exec VP Roger Snow said the acquisition was “a continuation of our strategy to build our intellectual property portfolio.”

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