Nearly ten months after the launch of the first Nevada-licensed online poker site, a third site is prepping for its real-money debut. Real Gaming, which previously bore the name of its brick-and-mortar casino backer South Point Hotel Casino and Spa, has officially launched the field trial of its igaming platform. The site is browser-based, so no download is required, although players must first download a mobile app in order to facilitate Real Gaming’s geolocation technology. For the moment, No Limit Texas Hold’em games are the only option, but the site is promising tournaments and “some great promotions” at some future date.
Real Gaming’s entry promises to bring more insight into the specifics of Nevada’s regulated online poker market, as Nevada gaming regulators have refused to break out online poker revenues as a separate column entry until at least three Nevada-licensed sites were operational. However, Real Gaming’s entry isn’t expected to expand the shallow wading pool that is Nevada poker liquidity, meaning most of its traffic will come from looky-loo’s already registered at the other two Nevada-licensed sites: Station Casinos’ Ultimate Poker and Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s WSOP.com.
If Nevada-licensed operators are ever going to see real growth, it will have to come from beyond the state’s borders. On Tuesday, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters he hadn’t yet given up on passing legislation in Congress that would permit interstate online poker, although he reiterated his antagonism toward any other form of online gambling, saying he couldn’t get behind “unlimited gambling on the internet.” Reid acknowledged that Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson would actively oppose any federal online poker efforts, but Reid noted the American Gaming Association was ramping up its lobbying efforts to counter Adelson’s bellicose stance. “There is a lot of money being spent on both sides of the issue. We’ll see how much [Adelson is] willing to do.”