Free-play online poker room AcePlay Poker is shutting down its virtual doors this November. Run by Stratosphere Las Vegas, AcePlay Poker was never able to operate with real-money play and will be missing out on the upcoming iGaming game-changer that will allow New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware to share their online poker player pools.
American Casino & Entertainment Properties, the company that bought the Stratosphere in 1996 received a license in 2012 to host online poker games in Nevada. When AcePlay launched in 2013 as a play-money site, the intention was to build its brand in Nevada and eventually transition to real-money in the long run.
AcePlay Poker never got around to shifting to real-money poker and continued to operate a free to play online poker website. The company used the AcePlay Poker website to run a number of promotions and award prizes that would give players the opportunity to visit the Stratosphere.
Some of these prizes included show tickets, rides at the top of the tower such as SkyJump, and various other entertainment amenities in the Stratosphere. The closure of AcePlay Poker comes after an $850-million deal acquisition in which Las Vegas-based Golden Entertainment and New York-based Whitehall Street Real Estate Partners bought out American Casino & Entertainment Properties who owned four Southern Nevada casinos including the Stratosphere.
According to the AcePlay blog, Golden Entertainment’s purchase of ACEP is the main reason for the closure of the free-play site since it will not be part of the new company’s immediate plans. AcePlay Poker will be closing effective November 22. Until then, members are encouraged to use up all their virtual credits since they will not be cashed out or retain any of its value. Members of the ace|PLAY Rewards Club who have earned rewards for their casino properties, however, will still have access to these rewards and will remain on the patrons’ account.
The news of AcePlay Poker’s closing comes as a surprise as earlier this month Nevada gaming regulators announced that New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware have reached an agreement to provide interstate player liquidity. This would allow iGaming operators in the three to work with a bigger player pool, offer better tournaments and generate more revenue going forward. So it is surprising to see that AcePlay Poker will not take advantage of the new interstate shared liquidity agreement.
With AcePlay out of the competition, it is believed that WSOP NV and WSOP NJ will be the principal beneficiaries of the recently announced interstate liquidity.