Tuesday September 24 ,2013 : SLOW START FOR NEW NEVADA ONLINE POKER OPERATOR
Perhaps more marketing muscle could have been applied?
The current stats show that the latest online poker site to launch in Nevada's intrastate legalised market, WSOP.com, has had a rather slow start since it opened its virtual doors last week.
As Pokerscout points out, with the might of Caesars Interactive Entertainment's player base and the quality 888 poker platform behind the scenes, one would have expected a better performance than a peak 24-hour average of 152 players.
Compare that with rival Ultimate Poker.com's 268 cash players over the same period. And for the ultimate international comparison, consider Pokerstars, which now eschews US action, yet still managed to pull in 31,967 in the same timeframe!
888 poker software offers more varied games and a Mac capability that rival Ultimate Poker.com has not yet matched, yet the new arrival still lagged behind when compared to Ultimate in its first week…and the admittedly early indications are that growth has been slower, too.
In analysing the situation, Pokerscout notes that instead of going for it at the get-go, CIE appears to have opted for what marketers call a ‘soft launch', soft-peddling on the advertising campaigns, publicity hype and widespread exposure that normally accompanies an important product launch.
And the independent monitor points out that CIE has yet to effectively promote the new venture to its wider player base, possibly squandering the advantage built up in early registration efforts, when some 12,000 sign-ins were achieved.
Another factor may have been some difficulties in accepting credit and debit card deposits, thanks to the UIGEA, a piece of federal legalization passed before the concept of legalised online poker in an American state became a reality, and designed deliberately to make financial institutions disrupt US transactions with online gambling operators – there's a certain irony in that.
That said, in its first week of operations WSOP.com appears to have had an impact on its rival's business; Ultimate Poker average player counts were down 14 percent, again raising the question of whether the Nevada market on its own has sufficient player liquidity to sustain several top online poker operators, and underlining again the need for interstate compacts.
But – as Pokerscout freely admits – it's early days yet and only time (and more energetic marketing) will tell.