When Nevada legalized online gambling in 2013, there was stiff competition from online gambling companies to obtain a license and be the first to capture a large percentage of the market share. Companies like Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com were given licenses and they wasted no time in launching their online poker websites.
The new regulations that governed online poker in Nevada proved to be a little too strict for many online poker players who preferred to skip these regulated websites and instead opt for unregistered websites, even though it was illegal.
Hence, the player pool for companies like WSOP.com and Ultimate Poker turned out to be relatively small, which in turn affected both the competition, as well as the size of the cash prizes on offer.
During the past year, online gambling companies have spent both time and money to analyze traffic stats, player suggestions and methods by which they can make online poker more attractive in Nevada. One of the main solutions put forward by these online gambling companies was to create an online poker network in Nevada that allowed players from different websites to compete against one another.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board made a decision early July and approved the proposal of launching an online poker network in Nevada. In a release, the Gaming Control Board has commission 888 Holdings to
develop an inter-operator poker network that will include Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s WSOP.com and the planned online poker room from Treasure Island. A separate 888 poker room—connected to Treasure Island—would be the third site on the platform.
This inter-operator poker network will be similar to the inter-state poker network that Nevada and Delaware have agreed upon. The Gaming Control Board has not given specific dates as to when the inter-operator poker network will be launched.
One of the main reasons behind the newly proposed inter-operator network is to address the lack of traffic that online gambling companies are experiencing. Now, operators will have a wider network and a larger player base as all online poker players in Nevada will have the opportunity to compete against one another. 888 Holdings will develop the technology that will allow online gambling companies to register data as to which poker rooms players signed up to initially and then track the revenue of individual poker players.
Yehoshua Gurtler, an attorney for 888 said
For Nevada, a network provides more gaming taxes due to greater product attractiveness and player participation.