Caesars Preps for Launch of Real Money Poker on WSOP Website
Caesars Palace of Las Vegas has been ultra-busy lately, and I’m not just talking about the amount of foot traffic on its vast casino floor. Owner of the official website of the World Series of Poker, WSOP.com, the big-wigs at Caesars have been working diligently to prepare for the launch of the website’s real money online poker suite. While a specific launch date has yet to be set, the company promises to deliver Nevada residents with a real-money online poker community by the summer of 2013.
“We’re hard at work completing the necessary steps as required to bring it to market,” relayed an enthusiastic Seth Palansky, the Vice President of Corporate Communications for Caesars. He assured everyone of an impending launch by summer, and went on to say, “The reality for us is, when we have it right and have all the appropriate signoffs, we’ll be ready to go.”
The Nevada Gaming Control Board approved an application for licensing from Caesars Interactive Entertainment back in December of 2012, and the company has been working hard to get it’s legal online poker tables up and running ever since. WSOP.com is collaborating with 888 Holdings, a leading software developer whose sophisticated technologies were also approved and licensed by the state this year. 888 and Caesars are already working together to present a European WSOP website.
For 888, WSOP.com is just one wheel on a big-rig of poker operations it is hoping to associate with in the near future. After receiving its Nevada gaming license in March, the company has announced plans to establish the All American Poker Network (AAPN), eager to bring numerous competitive brands under its wing. 888 already entered into contract with Treasure Island to launch on its impending poker network.
For Caesars, the ultimate goal, though not a highly realistic one at this point, would be to have WSOP.com up and running with real-money poker tables before the start date of the 2013 World Series of Poker. Unfortunately, that deadline is fast approaching. Registration, live action and satellites begin on May 29, just two weeks from now. However, the WSOP Main Event will not kick off until July 6, giving coordinators plenty of time to complete all of the necessary steps and requirements, including crucial last-minute security checks, to launch the poker room.
At the moment, the race is on to earn the second place position among Nevada’s newly born online poker market. The race has already been won by the Station Casinos group, owner of the UFC, having launched UltimatePoker on April 30, 2013. That date being dubbed ‘Trusting Tuesday’ (as opposed to the calamitous Black Friday of two April’s ago), the launch of UltimatePoker will forever go down in history as the first legal, real-money online poker site to hit the world wide web on US soil.
Other potential #2’s are South Point Poker, which gained fame by receiving the very first US-based internet gaming license, and MGM, although the latter has slowed its pace towards launch after voicing trepidations in regards to the viability of Nevada’s market. MGM may decide to wait until an interstate gambling market becomes available, increasing the overall liquidity of the US online poker industry.