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Nevada’s Online Poker Scene: Waiting for Expansion

Discover the current state of online poker in Nevada, where WSOP.com reigns supreme but new contenders like MGM Resorts and Z4 Poker are on the horizon. Explore the challenges and limited options in the gambling capital of the world as the industry anticipates growth and the launch of new platforms.
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Apr 22, 2024

A bright future for the casino state

Since Nevada legalized online poker in 2013, the state has seen slow progress in its digital gambling industry. Despite the existence of WSOP.com, the only active online poker room, players have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of new competitors. Fortunately, both MGM Resorts and Z4 Poker are on the verge of introducing their online poker platforms, hinting at potential growth in Nevada's online poker landscape.

 

The Key Movements

  1. Slow Progress: Since Nevada legalized online poker in 2013, the state has seen slow progress in its digital gambling industry, with WSOP.com being the only active online poker room.
  2. Anticipated Launches: MGM Resorts and Z4 Poker are poised to introduce their online poker platforms to Nevada, hinting at potential growth in the state's online poker landscape.
  3. Limited Options: Despite its reputation as the gambling capital of the world, Nevada's online gambling options remain limited, with online poker being the primary digital gambling outlet.

 

MGM Resorts Interactive (NYSE: MGM) has recently obtained its 14th waiver from the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) to launch a BetMGM online poker room. Although they initially missed the opportunity to enter Nevada's online poker market, MGM's successful ventures in other states have paved the way for its Nevada debut. During a recent NGC meeting, representatives confirmed that preparations for the poker room's launch were underway. However, they did not specify a launch date.

Z4 Poker, known for its social poker room HD Poker, is also gearing up to introduce its real-money online poker platform to Nevada. Eric Colvin, the company's founder, outlined Z4 Poker's progress during a presentation to the NGC. With 85% completion of the platform and $30 million invested, Z4 Poker aims to deliver a top-tier online poker experience. Colvin emphasized that prioritizing quality over speed is crucial, as rushing the platform's release could jeopardize its future.

Despite its reputation as the gambling capital of the world, Nevada's online gambling options remain limited. Since 2013, online poker has been the primary digital gambling outlet, with WSOP.com dominating the scene. Unlike most states, online sports betting in Nevada is restricted to mobile devices and requires in-person registration at a casino. Other online casino games are notably absent.

Despite the allure of WSOP live events, online poker adoption in Nevada has been slow. WSOP.com stands as the sole active online poker room, with other licenses either dormant or defunct. Factors such as Nevada’s relatively small population and limited player pools contribute to the slow growth. However, the recent pooling of players with Delaware, Michigan, and New Jersey has injected some life into the state’s online poker scene.

 

“We've invested $30 million and over a decade of work into creating a top-tier online poker platform for Nevada. Rushing its release could jeopardize its future, so quality remains our priority.”

 

Conclusions

The launch of BetMGM's online poker room not only signifies a new chapter in Nevada's digital gambling landscape but also offers a glimmer of hope for its online poker scene. BetMGM, with its extensive reach and well-established marketing strategies, holds the potential to inject a fresh wave of energy into the state’s digital poker arena. As one of the leading brands in the industry, BetMGM's entry could draw the attention of both seasoned players and newcomers alike. Its reputation for quality and reliability may attract players who prefer the convenience of online play over visiting a physical casino, thereby expanding the player base and enhancing the overall gaming experience.

While the wait for new online poker rooms in Nevada has indeed been lengthy, the current outlook is optimistic. With both MGM Resorts and Z4 Poker on the cusp of launching their platforms, the Silver State’s online poker scene stands at the brink of a potential resurgence. These forthcoming additions not only offer exciting prospects for poker enthusiasts but also signify a step forward in the evolution of Nevada's digital gambling industry. As these platforms come to fruition, players will have new avenues to pursue their poker passions from the comfort of their homes, contributing to the growth and diversification of the state's gambling offerings.

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