Nevada Gets a Third Online Poker Site, But Can Real Gaming Carve Out Space in a Crowded Market?

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The regulated online poker market in Nevada now has three sites. South Point-backed Real Gaming joined and Ultimate Poker late last night when the room opened its virtual doors for real-money play.

The launch was first reported by John Mehaffey at

Can Real Gaming expand the Nevada online poker market?

Traffic data from PokerFusePro (powered by shows that the entrance of into the Nevada market in late September 2013 provided a temporary surge of traffic.

But overall traffic numbers for Nevada are now roughly in line with the numbers we saw in the spring and summer of 2013, when Ultimate Poker was the sole room in the market.

That strongly suggests that we’ve already seen the peak of the Nevada market, meaning that any traffic Real Gaming manages to acquire will likely come at the expense of Ultimate Poker and

South Point is a reasonably-sized casino and certainly has an extensive player database to match. But its gaming capacity and database are dwarfed by the Station family of casinos in Nevada, which have aggressively promoted Ultimate Poker. And there’s likely a fair amount of overlap between the two player bases.

That makes it even more unlikely that Real Gaming will be able to mine an untapped vein of players to populate their online poker room.

It also suggests that Ultimate may be more at risk than of losing players to Real Gaming.

Third site will bring revenue reporting for NV online poker

As it currently stands, online poker revenue is not broken out in Nevada casino revenue reporting.

That’s left analysts forced to make informed guesses regarding the revenue generated by Nevada’s online poker sites.

The threshold at which online poker revenue will be required to be reported separately from other revenue is when there are three active rooms in the market. South Point’s Real Gaming pushes the market over that threshold.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has confirmed that online poker will be broken out when revenue reporting for February is released in March.

Other operators still waiting in the wings

While three appears to be a crowd in Nevada’s limited market for online poker, that hasn’t limited interest on the part of additional operators.

888’s Itai Frieberger told me back in October that his company planned to launch their All-American Poker Network in Nevada “soon.” Skins on the network were to include an 888 brand, a Treasure Island brand and a Wynn brand, although the latter’s change of heart on Internet gambling may have scuttled that bit of the plan.

And, which currently holds the lead in the New Jersey market along with partner Borgata, is another potential player via their partnership with Boyd and MGM.

Overview of Real Gaming’s online poker site

  • The software is browser-based (HTML 5) and requires no download.
  • Location verification requires a mobile device capable of receiving SMS and installing an app from Real Gaming. Currently only iOS and Android versions of the app appear to be available.
  • Cash games, MTT and SNG play are supported by the client.
  • Mutli-table play is supported.

Depositing at Real Gaming

Currently there are four ways to deposit funds into your account:

  • E-check (ACH). Real Gaming describes this as the fastest option. My ACH deposit was processed in under 10 minutes.
  • Wire transfer.
  • Physical check by mail.
  • Deposit at South Point cage.

Credit cards are not a deposit method at Real Gaming.

Real Gaming geolocation issues

My experience with the geolocation process at Real Gaming was relatively smooth. But there are a few points where players could be easily tripped up:

  • The location verification is performed by an app on your phone. But you can’t launch that app directly from your phone; instead, you must request a text message when you attempt to sit down at a table and launch the app from a link in that text message.
  • Hacked, rooted or jailbroken phones won’t work, says Real Gaming. I am not able to confirm this point independently.
  • When the app loads, you’ll see a large black button that says “please wait” (image below). But you actually need to click that button in order to initiate the location verification.

RealGaming geolocation


- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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