Saturday July 6, 2013 : W.S.O.P. ONLINE POKER SITE'S NEVADA OPENING DELAYED
CIE chief exec reaffirms company's commitment to legal online poker in Nevada and New Jersey
Caesars Interactive Entertainment chief exec Mitch Garber brought readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal up to date on his company's intentions in an interview with the respected publication over the Independence Day long weekend.
Garber, the 48-year-old former boss of Party Gaming, says his company remains committed to launching an online poker site licensed and regulated in Nevada under the World Series of Poker brand and in partnership with 888 Holdings .
Initial planning had allowed for a launch during the 44th World Series of Poker tournament currently taking place in Las Vegas, he said, but the complexity of the technology has meant that the launch is now delayed until the late northern hemisphere summer.
In the meantime, CIE has been building momentum with publicity and a website where prospective players can pre-register, with incentives to do so.
“We are not overly aggressive about it, but the sign-ups early on are going better than anyone expected,” Garber told the LVRJ.
CIE intends to dominate the Nevada online poker scene once launched, Garber said, adding that he would support interstate gambling compacts with other states that could boost player liquidity.
Currently only one online poker site is operating in Nevada under the state's new internet poker only legalization – Ultimate Poker owned by Ultimate Gaming – Fertitta Interactive, a subsidiary of the Station Casinos group
“Nevada is a very important state, and we don’t underestimate the number of visitors who come into the market and might want to play on laptops or mobile devices,” Garber commented to the Journal.
He detailed ways in which CIE can use its live presence in the land gambling market to enhance online player acquisition, including offering seats in major live tournaments and hotel accommodation or free meals and entertainment at Caesars Entertainment land casino resorts.
Garber also has his eye on the legalised, and wider, online gambling possibilities in New Jersey, which has a larger population than Nevada.
“New Jersey is a large state with huge pass-through traffic,” Garber said. “We are hopeful when you combine the WSOP and Caesars brands it will resonate with the marketplace.”
CIE is consequently interested in offering both WSOP-branded online poker and Caesars-branded online casino gambling in the state, Garber revealed.
Garber concluded by observing that most online activity is growing and will continue to do so over the coming decade.