It was always going to happen, however this news comes a little earlier than some expected. Howard Stutz of the Las Vegas Review Journal has stated that the online poker market in Nevada, with just 2 rooms in operation is now saturated. It’s been said many times, by many people in the industry that Nevada simply could not sustain an online poker market as a stand alone state and needs interstate compacts, and Stutz reiterates this point. The bad news in the short term is that there are no interstate compacts in place, and none it seems on the horizon and there are another 3 rooms hoping to launch be the end of this year. South Point Poker, 888 Poker and Treasure Island all have licenses and are all ready to go.
At the moment there is no real way of actually taking a look at the size of the Nevada online poker market as numbers available are mixed with those of live games and it will be 3 months before these are separated. However, as poker revenue was up in Clark County by almost $1 million and Ultimate Poker had roughly around $750,000 of revenue, then you can take a good guess, however in moving forward that number cannot sustain more than just the one poker room, can it?
Caesar’s and Ultimate Poker Want Compacts
It’s clear that players are required from outside of Nevada in order to be successful, and Caesar’s Interactive CEO Mitch Garber is all for it saying that, “We’re very big supporters of shared liquidity,Nevada will have a healthy business on its own. I think it’s in everybody’s interest at the end of the day that there be compacts among states and that there be shared liquidity.” Garber also believes and rightly so that the time difference between East and West coasts will also mean longer periods of higher player numbers, and therefore better cash flow. Chairman of Ultimate Gaming, Tom Breitling said of interstate compacts that they were a “a win-win-win scenario for everyone” and that “It’s a huge win for the states because pooling liquidity will generate additional tax revenue.” Nevada is in prime position to benefit from any interstate compacts are legislation does allow for it, but at the moment it’s a case of both existing rooms to market their online product as best they can through their land based operations and hoping to at least get enough players to make it worth their while.