Caesars, partner 888 to launch online poker in Nevada


LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. gaming company Caesars Interactive Entertainment and partner 888 will launch online poker in the American state of Nevada this week following the relaxation of a ban on Internet gambling.

Nevada, home to the famous gambling resort of Las Vegas, is one of a number of tax-hungry American states that have eased the online ban imposed by Congress in 2006. The ban dealt a blow to companies like London-listed 888 which had set up in the United States.

The partners plan to launch under Caesars World Series of Poker brand on Thursday, with 888 providing the technology to support the product.

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"Almost 7 years to the date since we took the decision to exit the US market, 888 is returning to the states by powering the marquee WSOP brand," 888 CEO Brian Mattingley said.

888, which has a modest market capitalization of 560 million pounds ($890 million), is one of a number of European companies that are seeking to expand across the Atlantic as other states ease curbs on gambling.

New Jersey, another state with well established land-based gambling, plans to allow online poker and other games from November.

($1 = 0.6275 British pounds)

(Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by Louise Heavense)

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