The triumvirate of Golden Gaming, 888 and Treasure Island have received final approval from the NGC to form a marketing alliance; 888 launch snap poker in test mode and their CFO gets richer after selling £1.1m of his shares.
In poker news the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) has rubber stamped a deal between Golden Gaming, Treasure Island Hotel & Casino (TI) and 888.com, that will see the largest slots operator in Nevada begin promoting the yet to be launched online poker room to it’s hefty host of customers. The ink is now dry after the NGC initially gave preliminary approval for the marketing agreement a little under a fortnight ago; and just days after Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) and 888.com launched WSOP.com in Nevada.
Nothing has changed since we reported on the preliminary acceptance, with Golden Gaming planning to use it’s player pool within its three Pahrump casinos and its taverns, whilst leaving the slots fraternity on the sidelines. In return for their affiliation, Golden Gaming will take a revenue share from all players that they refer to the site.
The tag team of TI and 888 have still not revealed their planned launch date for what will be the first online offering in the state through the All American Poker Network; but 888 are picking up some vital experience after their joint venture with WSOP.com finally hit the online stands last week. Unfortunately, the start has been a littler slower than one would anticipate, dampening the enthusiasm of single state online offerings.
The fanfare of the WSOP.com launch blared slightly louder than that of its rival Ultimate Poker (UP), when it became the first legal real money online poker site in Nevada back in April of this year. The might of the brand of the world’s most prestigious poker tournament marketed on television, billboards and room keys at all of it’s Nevada based establishments.
So how successful was the propaganda? According to PokerScout the long awaited debut attracted just 113 cash game players at peak time, compared to UP’s 136 on it’s first day of action. UP’s current peak now stands at 348 players and only time will tell if WSOP.com can muster the same numbers.
Figures shmiggers as my 12-year old boy would say. If WSOP.com had been launched during this summers WSOP festival, as was initially intended, these numbers would certainly be a lot higher, as 12,000 players signed up to play online poker on the 888.com software during the series.
Speaking to eGaming Review, CIE’s general manager of online poker, Geoff Stewart, reacted to the news by saying, “The World Series of Poker is one of our greatest assets and is a tremendous brand. People understand what the World Series stands for. It’s trusted and we are backed by Caesars Entertainment, which has a very large and positive footprint here in the US.”
So that’s two online operators offering action in the state of Nevada. UP was the first and have since made a loss of $3.2m in the first quarter, WSOP.com has started a little less brightly and the 888/TI combo are conceivably just around the corner. It does make you wonder where on earth all of these players are supposed to come from?
Whoa horsey…pull back those reigns. 888.com CEO, Brian Mattingley, believes it will take about two years for the real value of online gaming in the United States to realize its true potential, and believes inter-state compacts are the vital ingredient.
Speaking to PokerNews Mattingley said, “I think state compacts play a very significant part in the value of online gaming, particularly in the likes of Nevada and Delaware. I think compacts will allow customers to enjoy a better experience when liquidity is improved.”
Mattingley has his eyes on the bigger prize and will not be unduly worried about PokerScout statistics. His main concern centers around the bad wrap that online gambling still receives in the US, defining that view as an ‘evil necessity’. His opinions of the safety and security of online poker run contrary to the recent comments made by Dusk till Dawn (DTD) owner Rob Yong, with Mattingley telling PokerNews, “I am very concerned that people don’t really understand the controls, the checks and balances, or the actual monitoring of players that goes on with online gaming, which is hugely different for a person of an undetermined age entering a casino in Atlantic City or the Strip and playing with $5,000. We know our customers, we check our customers, and we do a phenomenal amount of research to ensure that those are bona fide customers. We monitor their play, and if there are any signs that there is a problem, we will talk to those customers and monitor them closely.”
888 Start Testing Snap Poker
Players love the 888 online poker software or else the poker side of the operations wouldn’t be going through the growth spurt that it is currently experiencing. So, one guesses it wouldn’t have taken long before those of us with motion sickness had to face a rush-poker type of offering from Mattingley’s team.
Snap Poker is the name of 888’s latest product that whizzes past your screen at the speed of a drag racer, and you can currently help test the software by playing at the 1c/2c tables at 888.com.
888 CFO Sells 1.1m Worth of Shares
Aviad Kobrine, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), of 888 has recently taken advantage of the companies improved performance by selling £1.1m worth of shares, reducing his stake in the group to 3.76m shares. Kobrine has held his position at the company since mid-2005, and his haul was the result of 685,390 shares being sold at 159.51p each.
Must be nice.