Houston's favorite tycoon Tilman Fertitta is taking a gamble by unveiling one of the first online gaming sites in Nevada.
The website, www.GoldenNuggetPoker.com, will host free online poker games and tournaments 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We have launched a free Internet site in anticipation of the legalization of online gaming in the United States," Fertitta said in a statement.
Fertitta, president and CEO of the Golden Nugget website and casinos, filed an online gaming application with the state of Nevada in February. He hopes to be one of the first gaming operators to be approved by the state for legalized online gaming.
"We have launched a free Internet site in anticipation of the legalization of online gaming in the United States," Fertitta said.
The interactive website would offer users an opportunity to partake in tournaments and promotions. Prizes for the competitions will include cash prizes, gift cards to Fertitta-owned restaraunts (including Morton's Steakhouse, Oceanaire, Bubba Gump, Chart House, Rainforest Cafe, Saltgrass Steakhouse and McCormick and Schmick's), free stays at Golden Nugget Hotels, tickets to shows and more.
The new website will utilize Bally Technologies' iGaming platform — a program that is widely used in Europe where online gaming is legal.
Golden Nugget and Landry's current free play network sees about 25,000 players a day. Fertitta hopes to attract 60 million customers annually with the pumped-up site.