Nevada Legal Online Poker News

Online Poker Nevada – Latest Nevada Online Poker News

Nevada is one of three states to offer legal US poker sites. While in Nevada, you can legally play online poker at WSOP.com which is regulated by the Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board.

You can also now play against New Jersey players if you’re in Nevada, as WSOP.com announced that it had combined the two player pools as of May 1, 2018. That’s resulting in better cash-game traffic and bigger tournaments. Players in both states can enter WSOP bracelet events. There were four during the 2018 tournament season.

WSOP.com is the only legal poker site available to Nevada players. It accepts credit cards, debit cards, electronic fund transfers, PayPal, Neteller and cash at Caesars casino cages for deposit. Withdrawals are processed by PayPal, check, electronic funds transfer and cash at Caesars casino cages.

WSOP.com offers Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud as cash games. Tournaments are available for Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Lo. Limits start at pennies and run up to blinds in the hundreds of dollars.

Tournaments start at a dollar and run up to major bracelet event buy-ins of $1,000 and higher. There are also sit and go tournaments with buy-ins ranging from micro to hundreds of dollars.

Players must be in Nevada to play at WSOP.com NV. The New Jersey version has the same rules for that state. There is no residency requirement. Anyone 21 years of age and older may play as long as geolocation software identifies that the player is within the state’s borders.

If you have questions about NJ-NV player pooling, what you need to do if you have an account, or if you are just signing up, check out this FAQ.

Featured Nevada online poker site

The only operational real-money online poker site in Nevada’s legal market is WSOP Nevada.

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Latest Nevada online poker news

2018 outlook for Nevada online poker and gambling

The biggest news for Nevada is that online poker is getting bigger in 2018.

New Jersey agreed to pool online poker players with Nevada and Delaware. That means a big increase in liquidity for Nevada players — both for cash game traffic and tournament guarantees.

The shared player pools went live in April 2018. The first beneficiary is the WSOP/888 network, which is already active in all three states. Now, you can play at WSOP Nevada and play against players in New Jersey and Delaware.

Other forms of online gambling?

For Nevada, it’s probably not a matter of if other online gambling verticals join its already legal online poker rollout, but when. Momentum for iGaming stalled in 2017. But with more states getting into the online casino mix — including Pennsylvania — that could change.

The state took a very proactive stance toward gambling expansion in 2016:

The addition of online casino could change the tune of major operators that have withheld from entering the market, as evidence from New Jersey suggests that online casino is a significantly more lucrative venture than online poker.

That’s not to mention, online verticals have proven to have a complementary impact on brick and mortar turnouts, which could prove huge in a land-based market as competitive as Nevada’s.

Any lingering doubts that online casino games would cannibalize brick-and-mortar revenue were put to bed at a May 2016 meeting of the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee. And Gov. Brian Sandoval now appears satisfied that geolocation and age verification technologies have improved to the point where underage or out-of-state gambling is a non-issue.

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NV Online Poker FAQ

Is online poker legal in Nevada?

Yes, as long as you are playing at a site licensed by Nevada gaming regulators. Currently the only active site is WSOP.com

Is PokerStars online in Nevada?

No. PokerStars is only online in NJ and is not licensed in Nevada nor available to Nevada residents.

What are the requirements for playing on WSOP.com in Nevada?

Admittedly, the signup process at legal, regulated online poker sites in Nevada is a bit more tedious than players who frequent offshore sites will be used to.

That said, the financial and personal safeguards employed by regulated sites more than makes up any momentary inconvenience.

To signup for real-money play on WSOP.com in Nevada, players must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age. This is the same age required to gamble at a brick and mortar casino located in Nevada.
  • Provide some sensitive information, including a full nine digit social security number.
  • Offer other information, such as a residency address, date of birth and and the answer to a security question.
  • Be able to pass verification checks, confirming all of the above. All information is run through external database to confirm validity.

Do note, that WSOP NV registrants are not required to have a residency address in Nevada, nor are they required to signup from the Silver State. However, in order to play for real-money, players must be physically located within the state’s confines.

How does the online poker site know if a player is in Nevada?

A combination of checks are instituted to verify if a player is located in Nevada at the time of login:

  • The first is a simple IP address check, which locates the origin of a player’s Internet connection.
  • Cell phones are pinged by cell towers to determine an approximate location. This is known as cell phone triangulation.
  • The software checks to see what wireless internet connections are within close proximity of the login location.

Geo-location technology is vastly improved since first adapted by Nevada’s regulated sites, especially with regards to mobile. Now, players connected to the Internet via wireless or 4G LTE should have little trouble logging on and staying connected to the WSOP.com software.

How many online poker sites are accepting new signups?

Technically, two — although the only viable option for players is WSOP.com.

What depositing methods are available on WSOP NV? Withdrawal methods?

WSOP NV accepts the following deposit methods:

  • Instant eChecks (ACH)
  • Visa/MasterCard credit and debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Neteller
  • 7-Eleven PayNearMe
  • Cash at the casino cage (Caesars, Harrahs, Paris, Planet Hollywood and Rio All-Suite)  — must provide a valid government ID.

There are fewer withdrawal methods, but still enough options to satisfy the majority of players:

  • Instant eChecks (ACH)
  • Check by mail
  • Cash at the cage (five Caesars locations in Las Vegas)

Considering that most of Nevada’s online poker players are located in and around the Las Vegas area, the cash at the casino cage option is more viable than it is in NJ, where the main population centers are located a two hour drive away from Atlantic City.

Can players deposit from outside of Nevada?

Yes, although they will not be able to wager funds unless they are physically located in the state of Nevada. Withdrawals can also be processed from out-of-state.

Do Nevada poker rooms share player pools with any other state or country?

Yes. As of April 2018, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey share player pools. It is expected Pennsylvania players will also be pooled when the state’s regulated market goes live in 2018.

What games are available on WSOP NV?

Cash games run the gamut from traditional No-Limit Hold’em games to Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo, with stakes ranging from $0.01/$0.02 to $5/$10 and above.

The site also offers six and nine man sit & goes (although no lottery sngs), guaranteed tournaments, satellites into live World Series of Poker events and other events, and daily freerolls.

During regular weeks, tournament prize pools cap out at around $30,000, but WSOP NV has hosted its fair share of special events where the prize pool was over $100,000.

Has Nevada legalized online casino games?

In a very limited capacity, yes.

In July 2016, MGM Resorts International launched an app, approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, that allows resort visitors to participate in scheduled online slot tournaments. Players can also participate from InteractivePro Tables installed at MGM’s nine Las Vegas locations.

Users must be hooked into MGM’s wireless portal in order to take part in its tournaments.

It is believed that the MGM app is a stepping stone toward a more comprehensive online casino roll-out in Nevada, similar to the one operating in New Jersey. In 2016, the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee met to discuss the idea, and plans to examine online gambling products more closely in the near future. But the online slot tournaments are on hiatus for now.

At this juncture, expansion into a full online casino offering seems likely.

Nevada legal online poker timeline and major developments

  • Nevada was home to the first legalized and regulated online poker room in the United States.
  • The floodgates opened in 2011 when the Department of Justice passed a legal opinion that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting. By the end of that year, the Nevada Gaming Commission crafted regulations for the prospective industry.
  • But it wouldn’t be until February 2013 that the legislature legalized statewide online poker, also leaving the door open for liquidity sharing compacts among states. Ultimate Poker became the first room to go live in April 2013, followed closely by the more brand recognizable WSOP.com in September.
  • The new market proved a challenging one, and by November 2014, Ultimate Poker felt forced to withdraw. This left WSOP.com as the only viable operator in the state.
  • Earlier in 2014, Nevada entered into a traffic sharing agreement with Delaware, and since, WSOP.com in Nevada and three 888 branded sites in Delaware have shared liquidity. This move proved more of a boon for Delaware than Nevada, as Delaware online poker traffic was miniscule, to put it mildly.
  • Since, WSOP.com has followed a traffic pattern where liquidity holds steady throughout the most of the year, only to spike during the live World Series of Poker at the Rio. To capitalize upon the influx of poker tourism during the summer, WSOP.com rolls out a series of special-themed events, including a popular satellite into the live Main Event (25 Seat Scramble), and online bracelet tournaments.
  • Online poker became a bigger part of the WSOP in both 2017 and 2018 with more events and bigger guarantees for prize pools.

Browse our more in-depth timeline below.

Nevada launches first regulated real-money US online poker site

On December 23, 2011 — just seven months after Black Friday ravaged the US online poker industry — the Department Of Justice publicly released a legal opinion stating that online poker did not constitute a violation of the Wire Act.

This historical ruling effectively gave the thumbs up to legislators who wished to enact licensing and regulatory procedures for online poker.

It didn’t take long for Nevada to get on board. In fact, the Nevada Gaming Commission had approved draft regulations authorizing online poker the very same week that the DOJ released its opinion.

Nevada’s regulations paved the way for future legislation, covering finer points such as:

  • Underage gambling
  • Responsible gambling
  • Identity and financial protection
  • Technical, including geolocation, protocols

Because these safeguards were absent from the U.S. industry previously, fraud, cheating and misrepresentation of funds were commonplace — that would no longer be the case in the regulated era.

More than one year would pass before Nevada lawmakers looked at online poker. On February 21, 2013, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 114 into law. The bill legalized online poker within Nevada’s borders in the absence of federal intervention, and also cleared a path for interstate liquidity compacts.

Two months later, on April 30, Ultimate Poker made history as the first regulated online poker site to accept real-money players. Ultimate Poker was a majority-owned subsidiary of Stations Casinos, a company most well-known for operating a host of locals casinos in the Las Vegas area.

The new site also served as the official and exclusive online gambling partner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Both Stations and the UFC heavily marketed its new home-grown online poker site to the masses, as least in its early days.

In the three years plus that Nevada has offered legal online poker, the industry has undergone a litany of changes. The first, and perhaps the most noteworthy, occurred in September 2013, when WSOP.com entered the market.

WSOP goes online, and quickly ascends to market share lead

WSOP.com, officially went live on September 19, 2013. It wouldn’t be long before it became the go-to site for online poker players situated in Nevada.

The backing of arguably the biggest name in land-based casino gaming in Caesars, combined with the brand recognition of the World Series of Poker, and a client powered by online gaming behemoth 888, proved to be a potent combination.

If that weren’t already enough, WSOP.com would soon strengthen its position in the US by launching as part of the first wave of regulated online poker sites in New Jersey.

According to Poker Industry Pro (paywall) via online traffic tracking site PokerScout.com, it only took six weeks for WSOP NV to erase the gap between itself and Ultimate Poker. In early November 2013, a new market share king was crowned.

Ultimate didn’t exactly help its own cause. The software was riddled with technical failings, and lacked many of the features players had become accustomed to in the pre-Black Friday days. It also offered fewer cash game variants and smaller tournament guarantees than its rival.

A stellar customer service offering and a timely sponsorship deal with then rising star Jason Somerville helped to slow the bleeding, but that hardly proved enough to prevent WSOP NV from extending its lead throughout late 2013 and into 2014.

In June 2014, WSOP NV experienced its best month ever, thanks largely to the presence of the live Series in Las Vegas and the site’s own cross-promotional efforts. Every summer since, the site has bucked the seasonal downtrend that plagues the online poker industry during the warmer months.

WSOP bridges the gap between online and live series

WSOP NV has taken advantage of its ties to the live World Series of Poker in Las Vegas to great effect.

Beginning in 2014, the site began offering numerous entry paths to live events via satellite, capped off by a 25 Seat Scramble that awarded, at minimum, 25 seats into the WSOP Main Event.

The site also began hosting big summer series’ of its own, in an attempt to capitalize upon the increased poker tourism. The strategy proved a wise one, as both cash game liquidity and revenue reached their high points during the summer months.

In 2015, tested the waters ever further, when it held the first online bracelet event. “Online” is a bit of misnomer, as the online portion of the tournament paused when the final table was set, with the final six combatants facing each other in a live setting at the Rio.

In either case, the formula worked: as the first bracelet event drew 905 players, and the second in 2016, 927 players and 1,247 total entries. That proved enough to create the largest prize pool in WSOP NV history: $1,184,650.

WSOP NV made history in July 2015 when it hosted the first online bracelet event. The $1,000 entry tournament saw players battle down to six players online. Then, the final six combatants convened at the Rio for the live final table.

The event was an unprecedented success, generating the largest prize pool by far in US regulated online poker history ($859,750). That mark stood for exactly one year when it was outdone by the second running of the event.

Since then, the online portion of the WSOP has only increased in stature. The WSOP featured multiple events in 2018, and a New Jersey resident even won from the comfort of his own home thanks to multistate online poker.

Real Gaming throws a party, and no one shows up

A third online poker site, the South Point-backed Real Gaming, launched in February 2014. The move struck as somewhat odd, as the Nevada market was hardly capable of sustaining two online poker operators, let alone a third and unproven entry.

Not surprisingly, Real Gaming struggled right from the start, and although the site is still operational today, it’s traffic remains negligible.

On an interesting side, there was once the possibility of up to six online poker rooms in the Nevada market. The notion that new operators could thrive in a market barely capable of sustaining two active sites was far-fetched.

It appears that the potential operators realized this, and (wisely) abandoned their plans.

Ultimate Poker shutters its doors

In November 2014, some 19 months after becoming the first U.S. regulated sites, Ultimate Poker decided to pull out of the Nevada market.

The move came as little surprise, as two months earlier Ultimate ceased operations in New Jersey, where it was a perennial basement dweller behind more recognizable brands.

The operator cited the challenging operating environment as the reason behind its departure.

At the time, cash game liquidity was split approximately 60-40 between WSOP NV and Ultimate Poker. In the wake of UP’s departure, WSOP NV launched a marketing campaign centered on attracting former Ultimate players.

WSOP’s aggressive stance combined with its newly-minted monopoly position in the Nevada market led to traffic rising 60 percent from mid-November to mid-December 2014.

The Nevada-Delaware-New Jersey interstate compact

On February 25, 2014, Nevada and Delaware entered into the U.S regulated market’s first interstate liquidity pact. The agreement, signed by Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell, was originally supposed to go live in the summer of 2014.

But so-called “technical glitches” resulted in numerous delays, and it wasn’t until March 2015 that the agreement went live.

As per the agreement, operators had to have been licensed in both states. Luckily, 888 operates all three skins on the Delaware poker network, and provides the WSOP.com platform in New Jersey and Nevada.

For Nevada, the pact represented little more than a symbolic victory, as Delaware’s player pool was but a tiny fraction of its own. It is unlikely that NV players even noticed the addition of the Delaware pool.

On the flip side, the pact was a boon for Delaware players, who suddenly saw traffic increase by a multiple of twenty.

By 2018, New Jersey had joined the compact. So far, the net impact has not been to grow the overall market. But it has given WSOP — which is the only site active in both Nevada and NJ — a sizable advantage in the US online poker market.

How could the Nevada market improve?

The Nevada market, which is now nearly synonymous with WSOP.com, is in a much better place than it was at launch:

  • There are more cashiering options to choose from, and payment processing acceptance rates are way up.
  • The software is less prone to crashes, and geo-location technology has improved.
  • Liquidity rose from 2014 – 2015 and has now stabilized at a healthy point, given the small size of the Nevada market.
  • Both the quantity and quality of promotional offerings have improved.

Still, there is plenty of room for improvement:

  • The version of the 888 platform utilized by WSOP NV is somewhat antiquated, lacking many of the features more modern international platforms have incorporated.
  • There isn’t much in the way of game selection. Part of this is a byproduct of operating in a low liquidity market. However, in order to attract net depositing players, 888 may want to consider adding its lottery sng variant to the WSOP.com lobby.
  • The cash game rake tends toward the higher side.

What are the future prospects for online poker in NV?

In a best-case scenario, by the end of 2018, Nevada will have linked up with New Jersey and Pennsylvania (which legalized online poker in 2017) and possibly one of the other states on the precipice of legalizing online poker (New York).

A compact with any one of these states would grow average traffic by a multiple of three, if not more. At that point, new playing options, such as fast-fold and mixed games, would become viable.

It would also open the door for players to compete for the online bracelet across state lines — to date, a World Series of Poker bracelet event has never been held, either in full or in part, outside of Las Vegas. But that’s now feasible.

That all means big things are ahead in 2018 and beyond for Nevada online poker.

 

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