Nevada Prepares for Online Poker Resurgence

Despite being legal for more than a decade, online poker never gained much speed in Nevada. The activity was legalized back in 2013 and initially, three operators launched their services to customers in the state. Sadly, out of the three, only the Caesars Entertainment-owned brand, World Series of Poker (WSOP), via remained.

In an effort to boost online poker, Nevada inked deals with New Jersey and Delaware, two other states that allowed such activities. Ultimately, this move was expected to increase the popularity of poker by creating a combined pool for competition. When this didn’t boost online poker, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and a slight surge was observed.

Now, years after the legalization of the activity, two companies reignited their interest in the online poker vertical in the state. As announced by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MGM Resorts Interactive LLC, as well as Z4Poker LLC, appeared before the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) recently. The duo seeks to extend a waiver limit for the activation time for their licenses.

After the NGCB meeting, both MGM Resorts and Z4Poker received recommendations for approval. Now, the two companies will seek approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission. In case that approval is granted, it would mark the 14th such waiver extension. This otherwise means that receiving such approvals would enable the companies to decide when they can roll out their services for customers in the state within a one-year period.

The Companies Eye Expansion into Online Poker

During the recent meeting between the two operators and the NGCB, Chandler Pohl, MGM’s attorney, revealed that the company anticipates expanding into online poker via a collaboration with BetMGM. According to him, the creation of shared pools can help online poker, especially considering that Michigan recently implemented legislative changes, while three other states, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland are getting close to online poker.

On the other hand, Eric Colvin, Z4Poker’s chief technology officer, owner and founder, explained that online poker can turn into a success story when more players are attracted. He said that an estimated 800 players are needed for a successful launch into online poker, explaining that the company currently has approximately 450.

Colvin also spoke about a challenge that Z4Poker encountered in 2018. At the time, the discontinuation of Adobe’s Flash product required the company’s IT teams to rewrite its poker products. Speaking about that challenge, the founder and owner of the company said that millions have been invested in those products since, adding that the company is β€œweeks away” from relaunching its product.