Just In: Ultimate Poker To Deal First Real-Money Online Poker Hand In Nevada Today
Company Will Take Action Tuesday At 9 A.M. Local Time
At 9 a.m. local time on April 30th in Nevada, Ultimate Poker, an offshoot of Station Casinos, launched launch real-money online poker in the Silver State. The first hand was the first ever in a U.S. jurisdiction that licenses and regulates the Internet gambling industry.
The news came from a press release early in the day.
Nevada legalized online poker in the summer of 2011, and regulators drafted regulations for the fledgling industry in the following months. The rules were adopted in December 2011, but it had been a slow process of testing technology. However, the wait is finally over.
“We’re proud to be the first company to deliver legal and secure real money online gaming to poker players,” the company’s chairman, Tom Breitling, said in a statement. “We’ve worked closely with state gaming regulators to demonstrate our unique and compelling poker platform that, above all, players know they can trust.”
Poker pro Antonio Esfandiari, the game’s all-time highest earner, was brought on recently to represent Ultimate Poker. “This day has been a long time coming. Online poker in the United States is finally here and totally legit,” Esfandiari said in a statement.
Online poker has largely been absent in the United States since April 2011, when the owners of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker left American cyberspace. Smaller sites have run games for Americans since then, but the poker community has been waiting for a Nevada casino firm to finally get involved with the business.
Free play games have been running for awhile, but flipping on the real-money switch, so to speak, was a lot more challenging. Regulators didn’t want to see any false starts.
When Ultimate Poker launched, limit Texas hold’em and no-limit Texas hold’em ring games ranging from $0.01-$0.02 to $10-$20 were available. Other games are expected to arrive later.
Station Casinos is one of Nevada’s strongest casino developers, with many properties in Las Vegas. The firm is known for catering to locals. Ultimate Poker customers can deposit and cash out at any of Station Casinos’ 16 locations across the Las Vegas Valley, after they have created an account online. In addition, the site accepts MasterCard, checking account deposits, bank wire transfers and mailed checks.
Nevada web poker will be limited to those within the state’s borders for the time being. Earlier this year, the legislature passed a bill that will allow for deals with other states in order to create greater liquidity for the industry. There’s no indication on when those will be brokered.
Dozens of other companies in addition to Station Casinos want in on the Internet gambling industry based from Nevada.
So far, online poker is only legal in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, but some other states might also authorize the business in 2013.
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