Online Casino Games Unlikely the Solution for Nevada

January 21, 2014
Online Casino Games Unlikely the Solution for Nevada

The New Jersey online gaming revenue numbers for 2013 were released last week. It painted an interesting picture. Two sites own 97% of the online poker market share. Both of these licensees earned more in poker rake than from house games. Casino games accounted for about 61% of all revenue when including all licensees.

This brought some to question whether Nevada should branch out into online casino games. This could provide additional revenue to the two sites operating in Nevada and show other states that Nevada companies can operate casino games without any issues. There are a couple of flaws in these theories.

New Jersey and Nevada are different gaming states. The reason online casino games work in New Jersey is because casinos are not everywhere. All gaming must take place in Atlantic City as required by the state’s constitution.

In Nevada, any tavern that does not border residential property qualifies for a restricted gaming license. Grocery stores and gas stations may also offer slots under certain conditions. Casinos that market to locals are in the major cities.

This makes casino games less attractive to Nevada. Most residents are within a short drive of gambling.

Online poker works in Nevada because of the advantages it has over the live version of the game. Online poker is faster with lower rake and limits. Players may also play more than one game at the same time. Poker players outside of Las Vegas might have a hard time finding a game at their local casino.

Casino games do not have these same problems.

Video poker and slots are the same speed over the Internet as they are in a live casino. Popular table games are available in video form for players looking to lower limits.

No Need for Nevada to Prove Its Ability to Operate Online Casinos

Nevada does not need to prove that it can successfully spread online casino games. New Jersey is already doing that by licensing Nevada game makers to provide casino content.

SHFL, IGT and Bally Technologies are all based in Nevada and have licensed games to New Jersey online casinos. SHFL owns the rights to proprietary games including Three Card Poker, Fortune Pai Gow, Let it Ride and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. IGT owns many popular slot titles. IGT also owns the rights to the Game King video poker series that is used by most New Jersey sites. Bally Technologies licensed its slots to Golden Nugget.

If Nevada spread online casino games and it did not generate a reasonable amount of revenue then it could be a hard to sell to other states.  The fact that Nevada is already saturated by gaming may fall on deaf ears.

Mobile Sports Betting Works for Nevada

Mobile and Internet sports betting were legal years before online poker in Nevada. Sports betting is not a major source of revenue for Nevada casinos. Locals also find it inconvenient to have to constantly visit resorts to make wagers that are generally less than $50.

Mobile platforms offered by Cantor, Station and William Hill help generate more action from bettors that might otherwise be lost due to the lack of accessibility. The volume of small bets make it worth it for the books and the ability to wager anywhere in Nevada create loyal customers.

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