Nevada Online Poker Goes Live: Now What?
Ultimate Poker, Nevada’s first legal online poker site is calling its first few days of operation an unqualified success. So many players were online that, at some points during the weekend, Ultimate Poker was the largest poker room in Nevada.
According to a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the site, which went live on Thursday has already signed up thousands of new players. Company officials are also saying that over 100,000 hands had been dealt on the site by Thursday night.
As an interesting aside, many of those customers are international and out-of-state players.
Remember, as it stands, real money online poker in Nevada is only available to folks who are physically located within the Nevada border. Ultimate Poker, like most online poker sites, also offers a play-money poker product.
One reason for Ultimate Poker’s fast start is its connection to the land-based Stations Casino chain. Online players can not only sign up for Ultimate accounts at Stations Casinos, they can cash in their winnings there, too. The Stations/Ultimate Poker connection also carries over to player rewards cards.
The synergistic relationship between big land-based casinos and their online counterparts could be bad news for gambling affiliates. Converting their own land-based and social players into real money online players does a complete end run around established affiliates.
And if players are getting rewards from their player cards, their interest in bonuses and free rolls is likely to be greatly diminished.
Where affiliates fit in the United States picture is still pretty sketchy, but current trends in Nevada point to a fairly diminished role. Though as other states, particularly New Jersey the affiliate factor should clear up.
What impact do you think Nevada online poker will have on affiliates? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.