MGM Resorts and Z4Poker rekindled their enthusiasm for online poker in Nevada.

Online Poker in Nevada

Expanding Horizons: Nevada’s Online Poker Journey

In 2013, Nevada took a significant leap by legalizing online poker, anticipating a surge in its popularity. However, despite this bold move, the industry failed to gain the expected momentum. Initially, three operators ventured into the online poker scene, but disappointingly, only the Caesars Entertainment-owned World Series of Poker (WSOP) brand, via, sustained its presence.

A Collaborative Effort: Nevada’s Deals with New Jersey and Delaware

In a bid to revitalize online poker, Nevada struck deals with New Jersey and Delaware, envisioning a shared player pool to bolster competition. The aim was to breathe new life into the industry by creating a larger ecosystem. However, this collaborative effort fell short of expectations, failing to provide the anticipated boost. The industry languished until an unexpected turn of events—the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Pandemic Surge and Renewed Interest

Amid the pandemic, a slight surge in online poker activity was observed, sparking renewed interest in the vertical. Years after its legalization, two companies, MGM Resorts Interactive LLC and Z4Poker LLC, rekindled their enthusiasm for online poker in Nevada. Both entities presented their cases before the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), seeking an extension of the waiver limit for the activation time of their licenses.

The Road Ahead: MGM Resorts and Z4Poker’s Vision

Following their presentations, both MGM Resorts and Z4Poker received favorable recommendations from the NGCB, paving the way for further approvals from the Nevada Gaming Commission. Should these approvals materialize, it would mark the 14th such waiver extension, granting the companies the flexibility to determine the rollout timeline for their services within a one-year period.

MGM Resorts: A Collaborative Approach

Chandler Pohl, MGM’s attorney, outlined the company’s strategy to expand into online poker through a partnership with BetMGM. Emphasizing the significance of shared player pools, Pohl highlighted recent legislative changes in Michigan and the imminent entry of three other states—Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland—into the online poker arena.

Z4Poker’s Perspective: Attracting More Players

Eric Colvin, Z4Poker’s chief technology officer and founder, underscored the importance of player attraction for online poker’s success. With an estimated requirement of 800 players for a successful launch, Colvin acknowledged the company’s current player base of approximately 450. He also reflected on the challenges encountered in 2018 when the discontinuation of Adobe’s Flash product necessitated significant IT rewrites.

Conclusion: A Promising Future for Online Poker

The recent developments signify a new chapter in Nevada’s online poker journey. With MGM Resorts and Z4Poker at the forefront of this resurgence, the industry holds promise for a vibrant future. As regulatory bodies evaluate their proposals, the landscape of online poker in Nevada stands poised for transformation, offering renewed hope to players and stakeholders alike.

FAQs About MGM Resorts and Z4Poker Renewed Interest in Online Poker

1. What led to the slow growth of online poker in Nevada?

Despite legalization, several factors, including limited operator participation and regulatory challenges, contributed to the sluggish growth of online poker.

2. How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact online poker in Nevada?

The pandemic led to a slight surge in online poker activity as people sought entertainment options from home, sparking renewed interest in the industry.

3. What are MGM Resorts’ plans for online poker in Nevada?

MGM Resorts aims to expand into online poker through a collaboration with BetMGM, leveraging shared player pools and recent legislative changes in other states.

4. What challenges did Z4Poker encounter in launching its online poker product?

In 2018, Z4Poker faced challenges when Adobe’s Flash product was discontinued, requiring significant IT rewrites to adapt its poker products.

5. How many players are needed for a successful launch into online poker?

According to Z4Poker’s Eric Colvin, an estimated 800 players are needed for a successful launch, emphasizing the importance of player attraction.

6. What approvals are required for MGM Resorts and Z4Poker to roll out their services in Nevada?

Both companies require approvals from the Nevada Gaming Commission following favorable recommendations from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

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