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Posts Tagged ‘Nevada’

Nevada’s Impact On US Online Poker Traffic Numbers

Now that the online poker industry is up and running in the state of Nevada we are starting to see exactly what kind of impact licensed online poker rooms will have on the US market –and if you are an unlicensed offshore provider the future doesn’t look very promising.

The US online poker market currently consists of Bovada, all of the other unlicensed rooms, and then Ultimate Poker, WSOP.com and Seals with Clubs.

The sites that have taken the biggest hit in recent months are those on the Merge Gaming Network and the Revolution Network. Both networks (which were thriving just after Black Friday) have seen traffic plummet, and can now only boast average traffic of 370 players.

But not all of their traffic has gone to Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com. Bodog has seen a traffic increase, as have the Winning Poker Network and the Chico Poker Network, both of which are now in striking distance of Merge and Revolution –something that I would have considered an impossibility even a few months ago.

SITE

MAY TRAFFIC NUMBERS

CURRENT TRAFFIC NUMBERS

Bovada 7-Day Average 1,100 players 7-Day Average 1,320 players
Revolution Gaming Network 7-Day Average 680 players 7-Day Average 370 players
Merge Gaming Network 7-Day Average 670 players 7-Day Average 370 players
Winning Poker Network 7-Day Average 245 players 7-Day Average 305 players
Chico Poker Network 7-Day Average 210 players 7-Day Average 300 players
Ultimate Poker 7-Day Average 75 players 7-Day Average 155 players
Seals With Clubs 7-Day Average 84 players 7-Day Average 64 players
WSOP.com N/A 7-Day Average 55 players

 

*Traffic numbers from www.pokerscout.com. Pokerscout.com uses a 7-day rolling average of cash-game players to determine traffic numbers.

If the current trend continues it’s quite likely that one or more unlicensed poker rooms may have to close their doors. Revolution has plummeted from an average of over 1,000 cash-game players just last year to their current level, while Merge has seen a similar fall but for different reasons: Revolution has been plagued by lengthy withdrawal times while Merge has seen several high-profile skins leave the network for unspoken reasons.

Bovada could end up being the proverbial thorn in the side of the licensed US poker rooms in the early going, as the site is the only unlicensed US-friendly online poker room with traffic numbers that are currently unattainable for the current crop of licensed rooms to compete with – and we all know that taffic is one of the biggest factor when players join an online poker site.

Arms Race Beginning in Nevada Online Poker Market

With rumors of Caesars Entertainment preparing to launch their WSOP.com online poker room in Nevada in the next week –which is sure to be the most powerful early brand in the US market– Ultimate Poker is starting to clean-up around its edges a bit and has put a verification system in place for Verizon, Cricket, and Virgin Mobile users, according to PokerFuse.com.

The lack of a verification system, especially for the hundreds of thousands of Verizon users, was one of the biggest hindrances for Ultimate Poker in attracting players. Now that Ultimate Poker has put this system in place it will be interesting to see if they can pull in Verizon users before other sites start popping-up, and people are unaware that they can now play from their Verizon, Cricket, and Virgin devices.

Ultimate Poker was so adamant on being first in the market that the company was willing to rollout a stripped-down version of their software simply to beat their competitors to the punch. The reviews of the Ultimate Poker software have not been kind, with people likening the software to early online poker rooms from 2001. One poster on PokerForums.org had this t say about the software:

Big thumbs down…

No scrolling for bet sizing on the middle turn ball on the mouse

Can’t input bet sizing in an effective manner with the numerical pad

Also, they give you a random hourly text input (those puzzling “discolored/unreadable” codes that you see at credit cards, websites, etc. when you are sign up for an account)…not so great when you are the middle of hands on multiple tables

According to Todd Witteles’ website, PokerFraudAlert.com, he has heard that Caesars Entertainment is planning on launching their WSOP.com Nevada site in the coming week. The WSOP.com website will feature 888’s software, and unlike Ultimate Poker which developed its own software, the WSOP.com should be ready to go from day-one.

As more and more online poker rooms come online in what is a very small market –Nevada has less than 3 million residents—you can expect a number of upgrades and improvements to constantly be taking place, and you can also expect new and enticing promotions and bonuses to be offered to players in an effort to woo them away from competitors.

The question is, did Ultimate Poker do itself a favor by being first, or will they be remembered for their “not ready for primetime” debut, that not only featured inferior software and a lack of verification, but also the use of Ultimate Bet-connected Iovation to run checks on players, while other sites like WSOP.com unroll a near-perfect product right out of the gate? Get the detailed review on Titan Poker here.

Launch of Nevada Online Poker Delayed

South Point Poker was expected to be the first player in the newly launched Nevada online poker market, but unexpected delays may allow other competitors to beat South Point to the punch. South Point was hoping for an early November launch date, but testing delays and other issues between South Point and the Nevada Gaming Commission have surfaced, pushing the launch back to December and possibly into 2013.

South Point was hoping to have a leg-up on its competitors by getting to the market first, but it now appears that another entity may challenge South Point for that honor, or at the very least decrease the amount of time between South Point’s launch and their own.

Despite the delays South Point is moving forward with their plans to launch before the end of the year. South Point spokespeople have said the site is ready to launch, but is simply waiting for the NGC to give them the final go-ahead. Once the site is officially launched the real-money online poker platform will be launched –which is expected to be a major improvement over the play-money software the site has been using since 2011.

One of the competitors that will be looking to make a big splash in the industry will be Fertitta Interactive (owners of Station Casinos and the UFC) with their Ultimate Poker brand. Fertitta Interactive received their license from the Nevada Gaming Commission this week, and with an already recognizable affiliation with the UFC Ultimate Poker could quickly become one of the major players in the market:

“With our unique ability to leverage the overlapping demographics between online gaming, traditional gaming and the worldwide sports and entertainment brand of the UFC, Ultimate Gaming is ideally positioned to rapidly capture a significant following in the United States and throughout the globe,” said Tom Breitling, chairman of Ultimate Gaming.

Several licenses were granted this week and joining Fertitta Interactive in the market will be Boyd Gaming and the Golden Nugget, after both entities were also approved by the NGC. There are now 11 licensed companies in Nevada, and that number is expected to grow:

  • South Point Poker
  • Fertitta Interactive
  • Boyd Gaming (partnered with bwin.party)
  • The Golden Nugget
  • WMS Gaming
  • American Casino & Entertainment Properties
  • Shuffle Master
  • International Game Technology
  • Monarch Interactive
  • Bally Technologies
  • Global Cash Access

The question many players have is how the small Nevada population can support so many online poker rooms, and whether or not the industry will be too fractured to survive.

Anyways if you need to get into poker online join Titan Poker. Just visit its Titan Poker Review page to know more. Let’s get it started!