Nevada Licensee Profile: South Point Poker

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This is one of a series of profiles covering companies that hold a license to participate in Nevada’s online gambling market.

South Point Poker is a subsidiary of the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada, which is one of the lesser-known and newer properties on Las Vegas Boulevard –better known as the Las Vegas Strip.

Details and Timeline of South Point’s Nevada License

In early August of 2012 South Point Poker received preliminary approval for an operator’s license from the Nevada Gaming Control Board in a hearing before their application went before the Nevada Gaming Commission later in the month.

South Point Poker was the first company to have their online provider license approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board on August 28, 2012, and while they had designs on being the first online poker room up and running in Nevada, setbacks saw that dream fade.

As an operator, South Point Poker is licensed to provide online poker games to residents of Nevada and run their own online poker site. South Point created their online poker software in-house and will be acting as not only the operator but also in a service provider role.

Partnerships and Role in the Nevada market

South Point Poker developed the software they will use in-house, a decision that avoids the need for a partner, but this decision also created more glitches and bugs than the company seems to have anticipated, as their delayed entry into the market speaks to.

Initially South Point poker was shooting for an October 2012 launch, which was later pushed back to January 2013, and now in October 2013 we are still waiting for South Point Poker to come online.

South Point Company Overview

The South Point Hotel and Casino opened for business in 2005 and has been a major player in the poker world ever since, hosting a number of popular televised poker shows like Season’s 3 and 4 of the popular NBC show High Stakes Poker, as well playing host to another NBC production, Poker After Dark. So while South Point may not have the name recognition of the MGM or the Bellagio, poker fans are likely to recognize the high-stakes, private, poker room featured on a number of TV shows.

The massive 1,350 room hotel and casino began in 2003 (where plans had to be expanded based on early interest and bookings) and was finally completed and open for business on December 22, 2005 after several modifications to the original design. Since then the hotel has undergone yet another expansion, with a third tower added to the original design, and South Point Hotel and Casino now boasts 2,163 rooms, a full Equestrian center, 64-lane bowling alley, full poker room, along with the usual assortment of convention centers, shopping, and dining one would expect at a casino.

Still, the property is pretty much considered a “locals” casino, but armed with their online poker license South Point now has a chance to reach a far wider audience, increase their brand recognition, and become a major player in Nevada’s burgeoning online poker business. The South Point Poker site was one of the first to launch a play-money version of their software, but player complaints regarding the software saw South Point pushback their official launch date several times, so despite being the first operator approved for a license, South Point was unable to be the first to open for business.

South Point: Power Players

  • South Point Owner: Michael Gaughan – Gaughan is the prototypical casino owner in Las Vegas. Starting in the business back in the 1970’s, Gaughan worked his way up through the ranks until he was in leadership and eventually ownership roles. In 2006 Gaughan sold his Coast Casinos to Boyd Gaming (another company that procured a Nevada online poker license) except for the Gulf Coast, which was later renamed South Point as part of the deal. Gaughan’s name is so well-known and synonymous with Las Vegas that he was inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame in 2009.

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- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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