Utimate Poker A Casualty Of The USA's Poker Industry

Utimate Poker A Casualty Of The USA's Poker IndustryThe USA’s fledgling online poker industry continues to hit rock bottom, highlighted by last week’s startling news that Ultimate Gaming has now exited the state of Nevada. When the Station Casino  brand launched 19 months ago in the Silver State, it was hoped the site would be the catalyst for a new era in regulated online poker stateside, and what better message to send the country than launching in its number one gambling resort.
However, not only was the site unable to find enough traffic to make its operation profitable, it also proved unable to compete with even a single competitor in the guise of WSOP.com. When Ultimate Poker was Nevada’s sole poker site between May and September 2013, for example, it enjoyed a seven-day average of 220+ cash game players, but WSOP.com’s entry soon saw its fortunes reversed and just before pulling its operation Ultimate Poker’s traffic was averaging a mere 60 cash game players at any one time.
Nevertheless, Nevada as a whole has also been experiencing a major downturn in its already battered online poker industry, and in September generated a paltry $693,000 in revenues, a sharp fall from the record $1.04 million peak reported in June. With Ultimate Poker’s imminent site closure, the Silver state will subsequently be reduced to just WSOP.com, and Real Gaming which continues to show an average of just one player over a seven-day period.
Key to understanding the woeful state of the USA’s online poker industry is the fact only three states have so far introduced regulation, and even those states cannot get organized enough to pool their resources. At the beginning of 2014, for instance, Nevada and Delaware agreed to share their player pools and despite a lack of liquidity killing the industry, they have so far failed to enact their interstate compact. Commenting on Ultimate Poker’s exit from Nevada, Chairman Tom Breitling, explained:
“As has been the case in other jurisdictions, online poker revenues in Nevada have fallen far short of original projections. Moreover, the state-by-state approach to online gaming has created an extremely cost-prohibitive and challenging operating environment. These factors have combined to make the path to profitability very difficult and uncertain. Consequently, we have decided to cease operations.”

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