There are three regulated poker sites in Nevada. WSOP.com controls about two-thirds of the market, according to PokerScout. Ultimate Poker holds virtually all of the remaining Nevada poker traffic. Real Gaming is the third Nevada site. Real Gaming’s cash game traffic is virtually zero as it works through its soft launch period.
The Nevada online poker market is small, about 30 percent the size of New Jersey. There appears to be little demand for more sites. That will not stop more sites from using Nevada as a launching pad as a test for new products in anticipation of future industry growth.
888 appears to be the most likely to join the Nevada online poker market. It already provides the WSOP.com platform. It appears to be the main beneficiary of the interstate liquidity agreement between Delaware and Nevada. It is the only company that operates in the Delaware market. 888 has partnered with Treasure Island, Golden Gaming and Wynn. If Wynn’s reluctance to enter the New Jersey market is any indication, the company will opt out of Nevada’s online poker market, even with the potential of a turnkey opportunity.
AcePlay is the free-play site related to the Stratosphere. This free-play site has been heavily marketed. Players are given the opportunity to play in live tournaments at Stratosphere, as well as earn free access to amenities on the resort’s property. Recent prizes include a Mother’s Day spa package, concert tickets, gift cards, and free rooms.
AcePlay’s platform is licensed by Amaya Gaming. This software is similar to that used by the international real-money site known as the Ongame Network.
Golden Nugget also operates a free-play site. It uses Amaya Gaming’s Ongame software. Golden Nugget announced that it would share Betfair’s New Jersey poker platform, which also uses Ongame software. Betfair’s New Jersey poker traffic has hovered around zero players for its entire existence. While Golden Nugget launched its New Jersey casino site, it has yet to launch a poker site in the state. It is unknown if the lack of existing network traffic is a reason for this. This may not stop it from launching in Nevada, especially if AcePlay provides a player base.
Unlike the previous three sites mentioned, Party Poker does not have a Nevada license. That may change if a liquidity sharing agreement is announced between Nevada and New Jersey. Party Poker’s platform is the number one network in New Jersey. It is partnered with Borgata, a resort owned by Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts. These casino companies operate casinos in Nevada and already hold interactive gaming licenses in the state.
An agreement announced in 2011 between the three companies gives Party Poker a 65 percent share of the interactive company. MGM Resorts owns 25 percent, while Boyd Gaming holds 10 percent.
There are many other licensed companies in Nevada. Many do not appear to have any immediate plans to enter the state’s real money online poker market. The full list of licensed interactive gaming companies may be found here.