WSOP Real Money Poker Sites Launches in Nevada
Caesar’s Entertainment announced via a conference call with press on Tuesday that the real money version of their World Series of Poker site will launch on Thursday in Nevada. Caesars previewed the second real money online poker site to launch in Nevada with the goal of becoming an immediate player in the US online poker landscape.
Real Money WSOP Launching Thursday
The new WSOP.com officially goes live on September 19 at 9:19 a.m. Pacific Time and will be made available to anyone 21 years or over in age within Nevada borders. Players do not have to be residents to sign up and start playing, but do have to be within the state to access the site. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stuart said on the announcement call, “It’s a very exciting and gratifying day to see the WSOP go online.”
The process for Caesars Entertainment to take the site live for real money gaming started back in 2011 when the state of Nevada legalized online poker and later adopted regulations in December of that year. One of the roadblocks for gaming giant was alleviated when legislators acted to create better liquidity for online poker sites. This act also fueled rumors regarding the initiative to link Nevada and New Jersey sites. Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, provided a glimpse into the future on the call stating, “A small state like Nevada will benefit from shared liquidity. It is in everyone’s interest to have compacts between states.”
Many players were frustrated that the process took almost two full years to complete, but Caesars officials clarified that any perceived delays experienced were related to the requirements to get the online poker site approved by regulators. Officials on the call said that the lengthy process should be viewed as a positive, since the site has been thoroughly vetted for consumer confidence.
Poker Site Details
The real money version of WSOP.com will launch with Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Seven Card Stud games, along with hi/lo variants. Mac users can breathe a sigh of relief as Caesars announced that both a Windows PC and native Mac client will be made available, however, no mobile version for Android or iOS apps appears to be in the works.
Satellites will be a major draw to the poker site, with promotions taking place to get grinders into events for the WSOP Europe immediately launching with the site this week. The new “Action Club” loyalty program also goes live at launch, which features multiple tiers and benefits. Players should note that they will not be able to conduct transactions (deposits or withdrawals) at Caesar’s properties. This contrasts what Ultimate Poker, representing WSOP.com’s sole competitor, allows with Station casinos in Nevada. Whether this stance with in-casino transactions becomes long-term policy remains to be seen, but for now, all transactions will be conducted online.
The World Series of Poker site will be home to a special online poker championship series, but no bracelets will be awarded to players from any online event. Also, in a bit of a surprise, Caesars stated that they will not be following the trend of sponsoring popular pro poker players to endorse the site.
While the rest of the nation patiently awaits their turn, Nevada is clearly leading the way with real money poker in the United States. While the rumored alliance between Nevada and New Jersey was deflected for the most part during the press briefing, officials did state that they were in support of such a move, which would allow sites to share traffic. For now, eyes will be on the launch of WSOP.com as a potential model for other states to follow for gaming law adoption.