Here's the deal: Fertitta asks for online poker

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Another company said Thursday that it has asked Nevada regulators for permission to run online poker games.

In a statement announcing its application to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Fertitta Interactive said it supports regulation for online poker and wants to offer the game in "a safe and well-regulated online environment."

Fertitta, which describes itself as a company that builds brands and businesses online, didn't immediately return a call seeking details.

Scott Long, publisher of the poker magazine Ante Up, said Fertitta is just the latest in a line of gaming companies that have filed similar applications with Nevada regulators. But that doesn't necessarily mean that those companies will soon be offering the game.

U.S. regulators have been cracking down on illegal Internet gambling. And while the legality of online poker remains a gray area, legitimate companies have stopped offering it, Long said.

Even so, Nevada last year approved a bill that would allow companies to offer online poker within state borders, but it assumes that the federal government will pass a bill allowing it, Long said. While Nevada gets ready just in case, the federal government's next move is unclear.

"At this point, I don't think anything's going to happen with these applications except them being approved," Long said.