Nevada Casinos, Poker Keep Growing, But Is AG Adam Laxalt Compromising It All?

Written By Jessica Welman on May 12, 2017
Nevada State Capitol

[toc]The Nevada weather is not the only thing heating up in the Silver State these days. Nevada casinos are expanding their brand online in a variety of ways. The city of Las Vegas is prepping for the onslaught of poker pros coming in for the World Series of Poker (WSOP), including WSOP owner Caesars Entertainment. The company just released some rule changes for the series designed to appeal to even more amateur players.

Not all the gambling news in Nevada is good this week though. The state’s Attorney General is at the heart of a political scandal that does anything but put casinos in a good light.

Here’s the rundown on all the gaming happenings in the desert this week:

Nevada Attorney General in hot water

National politics dominate the headlines, but a local political scandal could have far-reaching impacts. Nevada’s Attorney General Adam Laxalt is at the center of a controversy after audio tapes of him trying to persuade the Nevada Gaming Control Board to intervene in a civil case involving casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

Given that Adelson is one of Laxalt’s top donor, the scandal is raising plenty of eyebrows. This is not the first time Laxalt seems to be prioritizing Adelson’s needs over the state’s either. Will this compromise Laxalt’s standing as one of the frontrunners in the upcoming gubernatorial race? Only time will tell.

Expectations for WSOP this summer just keep getting bigger

Last month, unveiled a huge slate of events running in tandem with the 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP). Billed the Summer Grind Tour, the events feature $2.5 million in guarantees as well as three online poker bracelet event.

A major part of the schedule is online satellites into live WSOP events. Not only does this help the number of entries in the bracelet events, it helps online poker as well.

As US Poker points out, plenty of online poker sites came into prominence on the strength of its satellite offerings. The offerings on are strong. The site expects to put more than 1,000 players into live WSOP events this summer.

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MGM and Stations logging on with new apps

An online presence is an increasingly essential component of a successful casino company. It is no surprise then that two different casino companies announced casino apps this week.

MGM’s real-money sports betting app finished its field trial. It now joins the crowded Nevada mobile wagering marketplace. Though the competition is tough, the casino company hopes the app’s unique features, like a recommended bet page and online deposits, set it apart.

Meanwhile, Stations Casino eyes the upcoming launch of StationPlay, its new social casino app. GAN provided the technology for the app, which will be available across the country, not just Nevada. Players will be able to earn points for Station Casinos’ real-money Boarding Pass rewards program for app play as well.

There is no official start date for the app, but it is should launch in a matter of weeks.

In poker, there is no time to waste

If you watch televised poker lately, you’ll notice there is a, pardon the pun, very timely trend of players tanking forever while making decisions.

These long deliberations do more than just slow down the pace of poker on TV too. Stalling on the bubble is becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in poker tournaments. Additionally, the long stretches of silent thinking spells arguably deters amateurs from playing in events.

WSOP is trying to address the problem with several rule changes about calling the clock on a player.  The hope is it will speed up action this summer. Martin Derbyshire of PlayUSA thinks it will do more than just that though. He suggests the tanking epidemic is out of control , and this rule change could help turn around the entire poker industry.

Photo by Steve Heap /

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for A graduate of the University of Southern California and Indiana University, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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