Nevada Stamp

Nevada Inter-Operator Poker Network Approved

As previously reported by Flushdraw, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has approved a proposal that would allow for the creation of an inter-operating online poker network in the state.

The proposal was originally made to the NGCB by representatives of international gaming firm 888 Holdings on July 9th. 888 would use its software to develop the network, which would initially be comprised of Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s and a yet-to-be launched poker offering from Treasure Island.

In March 2013, 888 teamed up with Avenue Capital Group to create the All American Poker Network (AAPN), the first online poker network in the regulated U.S. market. At the same time, it announced a deal with Treasure Island to create its online poker room, which would be the first site on the network. As mentioned, Treasure Island’s internet poker room does not exist yet; the only offering on the AAPN is, but only in New Jersey, not Nevada. The approval of 888’s proposal, though, looks like it will jumpstart the AAPN in Nevada. It should be a fairly easy setup for 888, as its software will not only be used on Treasure Island’s site, but is also the software that already uses. There are also plans to launch a third site on the network using, you guessed it, 888’s platform.  888

This is an interesting move for competing online poker sites, as they don’t typically have the urge to share their tables. But with the ridiculous ring-fencing in the very limited regulated U.S. online gaming market, this is a clever way to build up more player traffic. Nevada ranks just 35th of the 50 states with an estimated 2.8 million residents, not nearly enough to support a vibrant online poker industry if everyone is split up amongst several sites. Competition is good, but in online poker, too much can fragment the population too much. By teaming up,, Treasure Island, and any other online poker sites should be able to see the traffic at the tables grow much more than if they competed separately. saw its traffic rise significantly as poker players migrated to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, but now that it is over, traffic is declining. According to, has hosted an average of 110 players over the past seven days. That ranks it first in Nevada, but only 42nd in the entire industry. For reference, to get into the top ten, it would have to add nearly 900 players, an impossibility without a lot of help. Its primary competitor in Nevada, Ultimate Poker, has a seven day average of just 60 cash game players.

It appears that this Nevada network will be the precursor or test run, if you will, for an upcoming interstate online poker network. In February, the governors of Nevada and Delaware, knowing that it would be rough sledding for online poker in their states if they were limited to players within state borders, signed the “Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement,” which allows for players in both states to play on sites located in either one. While the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) was designed to stop the flow of funds to and from poker sites, it did permit states to legalize poker themselves. States could also take things a step further and enter into compacts with fellow states to combine their player pools, similar to how multi-state lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions work.

Delaware, in particular, needs the help. With less than a million residents, its gaming traffic barely even registers on the industry’s radar. While combining forces may not make a huge difference right away, especially for Nevada, it is likely part of a longer-term plan. Said Delaware Governor Jack Markell, “We don’t know how the online gaming industry will evolve over time, but it does make sense to think long-term about ways to position our states to take advantage of future growth.”

In light of everything else in this article, it probably will not come as a surprise that 888 will be the software provider for the interstate network; it already provides the software for Delaware’s three internet gambling sites. Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett said of the deal, “Everyone here has been working hard to make the agreement with Delaware a reality.”

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval was already itching to get the interstate network going in February, saying in a press conference, “This agreement will harness the vast potential and reach those possibilities, leveraging them in ways that will greatly benefit our states’ respective economies while promoting industry growth and preserving consumer confidence in the integrity of the gaming industry.”


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