Does Nevada Online Poker Already Need Interstate Action?
Is Nevada’s online poker market already in need of a boost from interstate gambling compacts? While no one is hitting the panic button just yet, Silver State operators are more than keen to see their audience expand before the real money casino online market gets too competitive.
Worries about whether Nevada’s relatively small population (2.75 million) could support multiple operators have been a concern since the idea of regulated online poker first popped up a couple years ago. Those concerns were addressed this weekend in an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal (LVRJ) titled, Bottom Line in Web Poker: Nevada Needs Compacts with Other States.
The article’s release coincides with the launch of WSOP.com, the state’s second licensed online poker site.
WSOP.com’s launch is being watched very closely because it’s the first site to compete with Ultimate Poker, the inaugural Nevada online poker site which launched a couple months ago. Though official numbers haven’t yet been released, the LVRJ estimates the site’s revenues at something near $750,000 a month.
Most operators are quite warm to the idea of reaching out beyond Nevada’s borders, but are reluctant to say anything bad about their Nevada player base. Caesars Interactive CEO, Mitch Garber summed up the prevailing mood when he 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.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is all in on interstate gambling and helped a bill approving it pass the State Legislature in an emergency session earlier this year. So far though, the state hasn’t made any moves in that direction.
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