Don’t hold your breath for the debut of partypoker in Nevada.
Despite speculation within the industry this week that a launch is imminent, poker is “not a short-term priority” according to Adam Greenblatt, the CEO of party’s US parent company Roar Digital. The exec told OPR that sports betting launches in other states were taking precedent at the moment.
“We will get there,” Greenblatt said regarding poker expansion.
The news will be a blow to the US online poker community, which had been speculating a launch and subsequent multi-state poker network could be on the way soon. Rumors were recently rekindled when the company distributed an email mentioning a “US Network”.
— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) January 5, 2020
Roar secured licensing for interactive gaming in Nevada in May last year, prompting speculation then as well. As it stands today, however, the group’s US poker presence remains limited to partypoker NJ in New Jersey.
The revenue figures from New Jersey help explain why poker isn’t necessarily a priority for Roar.
NJ online poker was worth $1.5 million in November, down around 6% month-on-month and more than 4% year-on-year. The Borgata license, where the partypoker network sits, generated less than $400,000.
It’s a drop in the ocean for Roar, the US joint venture between two billion-dollar companies — MGM and GVC. Adding three million Nevada residents to the potential player pool isn’t likely to have a huge impact, especially compared to the lower-hanging fruit of launching sports betting in new states.
On Wednesday, Roar secured approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to operate online sports betting in the state.
It means the JV will rebrand its digital sportsbook from PlayMGM to BetMGM and move from an IGT platform to an “improved” solution from GVC-owned Stadium Technology. Stadium already powers the majority of Nevada sports betting apps.
The BetMGM product in New Jersey runs on a different tech stack, but Greenblatt said the Nevada licensing approval for new tech was a long one and the company again has other priorities. Following the changeover, MGM will continue to run its own retail sportsbooks on the Las Vegas Strip.
“It’s been a good day for Roar,” Greenblatt said Wednesday. “We will be launching BetMGM in NV, hopefully before March Madness.”
Of course, Roar’s plans for sports betting and other forms of online gambling go beyond just New Jersey and Nevada.
“BetMGM is the future,” he added. “We will take the brand everywhere real money goes.”
In the meantime, Nevada online poker players looking for some competition to WSOP will have to wait a little while longer.