Real Gaming is set to launch the real version of its poker site, as the company run under the auspices of Las Vegas’ South Point Casino is finally ready to take the training wheels off and move full steam ahead into the Nevada online poker market.
For online gaming sites getting a start in the US, the “soft launch” period is an important step in the process.
As with any website, technical difficulties can arise ranging from bugs, faulty software, and issues with traffic, as well as verification for age and geolocation. Soft launches allow sites to gain important information and fine-tune during this testing phase.
For Real Gaming, the soft launch moniker has applied to the site since its launch last this February. After eight months, South Point‘s online gaming presence can now join Nevada’s two other regulated sites: WSOP.com and UltimatePoker.com. The trials and testing are over, as Real Gaming has been given the OK to move forward from the soft launch phase by the state’s Gaming Control Board.
In the Money
The approval process occurred after the Gaming Control Board held a special meeting in Carson City meant to evaluate Real Gaming. Based off of the favorable recommendation from the Board, the Nevada Gaming Commission said the site could finally end its testing period.
Real Gaming CEO Lawrence Vaughan said the Board found no issues with how the site verified its players or its method to make sure that players were located in Nevada when playing online during the test period. New Jersey players may remember the rampant issues with geolocation software that have hindered play on those sites. Vaughan also mentioned the Board found Real Gaming didn’t serve as a way to grow South Point’s live poker operations.
Bringing in Players
During the soft launch process, Real Gaming focused its marketing efforts on South Point Casino’s live gaming customers. Those players were encouraged to try out online poker during testing. Now that testing is over, Real Gaming expects to increase marketing in an attempt to capture more of the online market.
Though it’s now one of just three of Nevada’s regulated online poker presences, the rest of the competition is quite fierce. The market is currently dominated by WSOP.com and Ultimate Poker. Despite the site offering tournament play and cash games for PC, Mac, smartphone and tablet users, its online traffic has little impact. Real Gaming likely hopes exiting the soft launch period will drive up numbers.
In September, Real Gaming announced it had entered into a partnership with electronic cash payment network PayNearMe to allow players to use the payment processor to make cash deposits into their gaming accounts at 7-Eleven and Family Dollar stores. The momentum from the end of the trial period and the relationship with PayNearMe to leverage the 7-Eleven and Family Dollar network should help kick start this new chapter for the site.
As it is common with any kind of major announcement, Real Gaming is using the opportunity to offer several promotions to entice players in Nevada.
“Quadzilla” gives players from $5 to $50 of bonus cash to their bankroll whenever they get a four-of-a-kind using their pocket pair. “High Hand of the Hour” lets players win upwards of $100 if they have the highest hand during certain hours of the day. By winning either of these two promotions and announcing the results on Twitter or Facebook, Real Gaming will reward players with more money. The “Real 50” monthly and annual giveaways still take place as do the daily “Final Table Freerolls.”