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Ultimate Gaming Drops Online Poker in Nevada

After 19 months, Ultimate Gaming’s experiment with regulated online poker in the Nevada market is coming to a close.
Earlier this week the company announced that it was ceasing online poker operations and they’re placing the blame for their poor performance squarely on the Federal Government.
In a statement to the press, Ultimate Ultimate Gaming Chairman Tom Breitling said that online poker has been hamstrung by a lack of Federal legislation governing the American igaming market.
That vacuum has been filled by a patchwork of state regulations that have stymied the growth of regulated igaming in the US. They’ve also made online poker a very expensive business to grow.
“These factors have combined to make the path to profitability very difficult and uncertain. Consequently, we have decided to cease operations,” he said.
Silver State Struggle
From the beginning, online gambling industry watchers wondered if the miniscule Nevada market was big enough to support online poker until the rest of the country caught up. Well, that question’s been answered with an emphatic, “no.”
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the state’s three legal poker sites combined for a total of just $639,000 in revenue during the month of September.
That paltry number doesn’t come close to justifying the massive marketing effort Ultimate Gaming expended through its Stations Casinos when online poker launched in 2012. Those efforts to promote Nevada online poker cost the company at least $10 million in the third quarter of 2014.
If Ultimate Can’t Do it…
Ultimate Gaming went into the Nevada market with every possible advantage. Their close ties with Stations Casinos (a favorite amongst Nevada locals) and the UFC gave them tremendous marketing muscle that other sites could never compete with.
In the end, that just wasn’t enough to hold them over until other states jumped on the online gambling bandwagon.
Stations Casinos CFO, Marc Falcone summed up the entire Nevada online poker story during a conference call with investors last week saying, “Needless to say, the online gaming market has been a considerable disappointment.”