World Series Of Poker To Launch Nevada Real-Money Online Poker Site On Thursday Morning
Firm Announces Date In Monday Conference Call
The World Series of Poker will debut its real-money online poker site on Thursday morning. The poker site will be available only for those within Nevada’s borders.
“It is a gratifying and exciting day to see the WSOP online launch,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said in a conference call Monday morning. “From Fremont to any street in Nevada in less than a decade.”
Nevada legalized online poker in 2011 and adopted online gaming regulations in December of that year. Earlier this year, the legislature acted to allow for state compacts in order to create greater liquidity for online poker sites. Nevada and New Jersey will likely partner in the future, with some in the industry predicting it coming sometime in 2014.
Liquidity, Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, said, is a key to success for online poker. “We are very big supporters of shared liquidity. A small state like Nevada will benefit from shared liquidity. It is in everyone’s interest to have compacts between states.” Nevada, however, he said will have a very healthy business on its own.
“This is a domino. This is the beginning of a very large online gaming business in America,” Garber said of what this crucial step means for Caesars and the industry at large.
As Bloomberg pointed out, Caesars Entertainment (CZR) stock has more than tripled this year.
So far, an offshoot of Station Casinos is the only Nevada gaming firm offering real-money online poker. Ultimate Poker launched this past spring and has been going strong.
Caesars Entertainment said it will look to be “the dominant” online poker provider in Nevada.
The firm said that it signed up 12,000 players during the WSOP in Las Vegas this summer. Live poker players were able to register in the Rio Hotel and Casino’s sprawling convention center. Caesars offered perks for those who signed up then. However, that number pales in comparison to the 43 million people Caesars has in its Total Rewards database.
The WSOP’s poker site will launch with Texas hold’em, in addition to other games like Omaha high and Omaha eight-or-better, seven-card stud high and seven-card stud eight-or-better.
The poker site will have a number of deposit methods to start. Players can deposit via Visa, MasterCard and ACH. Players will not be able to at Caesars’ properties at launch.
The WSOP is also preparing for its own online poker championship series, but doesn’t have any plans right now for awarding bracelets from web poker events. It will first use its real-money site to help players qualify for existing live tournament stops.
The software will be Windows and Mac compatible at launch.
There was some bad news for poker pros, however. The WSOP said it will not embrace the sponsored player model as seen in the past with many online poker rooms.
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