After a number of setbacks and delays that included a rebranding (more on those below) Real Gaming is now up and running, but developing their software and gaining the approval of regulators could very well have been the easy part of their journey. Now South Point will have to compete with two already entrenched poker rooms, with a brand new, untested product.
An already saturated market
Real Gaming will join Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com in a market that has average cash-game traffic of less than 200 players, something that Chris Grove of OnlinePokerReport.com sees as a potential problem.
Although there are only two other sites in the market, Real Gaming is coming in late to the show and with an unusual poker client (more on this in a second) they may have trouble siphoning players away from their competitors.
No download necessary
South Point’s Real Gaming online poker site is the first HTML5 online poker product in the country, which means it is a Flash based product that doesn’t require a download; the poker room simply opens in a new browser window.
The simplicity may be appealing to casual players, but it will likely be off-putting to serious players, who prefer the added features of a fully downloadable client, especially the capability of playing multiple tables.
Without first attracting some high-volume players it may be difficult to lure in their target audience (casual players) as they prefer sites with solid player pools, even if the games are a bit tougher.
Unique geolocation verification
Real Gaming is also unique in another way as well. Player verification at the site is carried out via an app download. Here is how it works [from the RealGaming.com website]:
- Make sure you have the Real Gaming App installed on your iPhone or Android phone. Download at realgaming.com/locate
- Login to RealGaming.com and select a game to play in the Lobby.
- Click the “SMS” button and you will be sent a Text Message. (You must already have Verified your account.)
- Click the link in the Text Message to launch the “Real Gaming” location app on your phone. Once the app says “Get My Token,” push that and then enter the token you receive from the app into the game.
Real Gaming’s geolocation method should improve success rates, but like their software, this is an untested method that could prove to be a major advancement or a major disappointment.
Nevada revenue numbers should be available soon
With the launch of Real Gaming we will also start seeing revenue numbers from Nevada’s online poker market—which has me and my fellow iGaming
nerds aficionados doing cartwheels.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has been holding off on releasing any data regarding the iGaming industry until three sites were up and running. According to Chris Grove the NGCB has confirmed online poker revenue numbers will be included in the February report, which will be released in March, and we’ll get our first look at the revenue numbers from this nearly year-old industry.
Timeline of South Point’s online poker client
- South Point was the first company to get the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s stamp of approval on their Internet poker license way back in August of 2012.
- Following their licensure, South Point proclaimed that they would be the first online poker site in the state, and had designs on a 2012 launch, which was later pushed back to early 2013, and obviously neither timeframe was kept.
- In October of 2011 South Point launched an in-house free-play online poker room created by Zen Entertainment, and dubbed South Point Poker. This room was later slightly upgraded in 2013 as the company started to prepare for a real-money launch in Nevada. However, players gave the free-play room abysmal reviews and South Point went back to the drawing board. Real Gaming’s current real-money online poker site was developed in-house, and not by Zen Entertainment.
- In July of 2013 South Point ditched it’s eponymously named online poker site in favor of the more ambiguous, Real Gaming brand.
- On February 19th, 2014 Real Gaming launched in Nevada and will now go through the rigorous trial period demanded by the NGC.