Nevada, once the gambling capital of the world has slowly fallen behind in live casino operations as well as online gambling. Nevada has lost its place to Macau when it comes to live casino operations and turnover and while the online gambling scene has improved in 2013, the numbers have not been very impressive.
Earlier this year, Nevada approved the launch of online poker websites and since then only Ultimate Poker has launched its operations. One of the key criteria when it comes to online poker in the state of Nevada is that players need to be physically present in the state to participate in online poker.
This rule limits the playing field and hence there is a limited market in Nevada. One of the reasons for this is because the state of Nevada has a very limited population and currently ranks 35 in comparison to the population of other states. Nevada has a large floating population who tend to visit Las Vegas once or twice each year to try the casinos. Very few of these visitors end up playing online poker and hence a strategic plan has to be made on increasing the regular online poker player pool in Nevada.
Caesars who owns the WSOP confirmed that they would be launch a real-money poker site and have plans to capture a large market share. Mitch Garber, the CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment stated that one of the key issues that they would work on would be to expand the online customer base in Nevada. In a statement, Mitch Garber said
We’re very big supporters of shared liquidity. Nevada will have a healthy business on its own. I think it’s in everybody’s interest at the end of the day that there be compacts among states and that there be shared liquidity.
As of now, Ultimate Poker and WSOP are the two online poker websites that operate in Nevada. However, there are a number of companies waiting to launch in Nevada and that could make the competition really tough due to the limited number of online poker players.
To address these issues and expand the online poker field in Nevada, state lawmakers have passed legislation to permit Brian Sandoval, the state’s Republican Governor to set up interstate deals with other states in order to expand the online poker player database. Governor Sandoval, who had earlier served as the Nevada Gaming Commission chairman confirmed that he is in the process of establishing interstate online poker competition and expects the process to be established soon.