Nevada Online Poker Review: Revenue Up, Adelson Down

Written By Steve Ruddock on May 1, 2014
Weekly Nevada online poker news adelson's bad week

California and New Jersey may get the bulk of the attention, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that Nevada was the first market in the US with online poker, and offers us the best glimpse of the industry’s capabilities thanks to its near-year-long track record; capabilities that seem very positive when you consider in its 11th month of operation Nevada online poker revenue grew by 12% from February to March.

In this week’s installment of the Nevada Online Poker Review we’ll take a look at the recently revealed revenue numbers from March and what they might mean, as well as Sheldon Adelson’s picking up a few new opponents in the fight over online gambling law in the US.

So keep reading for the specifics on these stories and a whole lot more below.

Nevada’s March revenue numbers

The doldrums generally associated with the month of March did not make an appearance in Las Vegas (March in Las Vegas is actually a terrific time to visit the city weather-wise by the way) as casino revenue was up an impressive 7.6% statewide and nearly 11% on the Las Vegas Strip.

Another sector that saw a nice increase was online poker, which was up over 12% on February, and even accounting for the shortened month, daily win also grew month-over-month.

The gains are good news for Nevada, but also for online poker in general, as the industry has started to stagnate in recent months.

The fact that Nevada’s online poker market was able to experience a 12% growth after nearly a year demonstrates that these early online markets are far from mature, even if traffic numbers have stagnated.

Nevada is still hoping for a small shot in the arm when their partnership with Delaware kicks in (ostensibly in a few months) and perhaps an even bigger and more significant partnership with New Jersey is in the cards for down the road.

Adelson besieged by conservative groups

Sheldon Adelson is seen by many as a bastion of conservative principles but as he is learning his views on online gambling (Adelson is seeking a federal ban on all online gambling) do not necessarily jive with the state’s rights and personal freedoms arms of the party.

Adelson was rebuked this week by a coalition of 10 conservative / libertarian groups including Freedom Works and CIE, who sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee in opposition to the legislation introduced by Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), legislation which bears the not-so-subtle fingerprints of Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling group.

One person who undersigned the bill was Michelle Minton. Minton is a longtime proponent of legalizing online gambling and followed up the letter sent to Congress with her own editorial on the topic which appeared on

Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada Sunday $15K Guaranteed

A slight uptick in attendance this week as 94 players registered for the $15K guaranteed at As always the tournament had little trouble eclipsing its guarantee, with the final tally hitting $18,800.

Interestingly, this was the first week in quite some time that attendance numbers in the big Sunday tournaments increased at both Ultimate Poker and

Here is a look at the final table payouts:

  1. CindrllaMan $5,358.00
  2. RichardParker $3,102.00
  3. SirJWAB $1,880.00
  4. whiteyslacks $1,504.00
  5. allprowi $1,297.20
  6. prettygaga $1,109.20
  7. mlawson $921.20
  8. imawhale $639.20
  9. imr2d2 $507.60

WSOP Main Event Satellite

Players in this past weekend’s WSOP Main Event satellite received yet another significant overlay as just 37 players registered for the $215 buy-in tournament, producing an overlay of $2,600. Thus far only one installment of this tournament has met its guarantee.

  1. zOMGBobChow – Seat to the 2014 WSOP Main Event

The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker

After struggling to break the 100 player mark for several weeks Ultimate Poker managed a field of 107 players, just short of their $10,000 guarantee, as the tournament offered up a $263 overlay.

I’m not sure who “Butters” is in Nevada, but this player is an absolute beast, and probably the most regular final table participant in the state’s online poker market.

Here is a look at the final table payouts:

  1. INtheMOMENT $2,900
  2. Butters $2,000
  3. Rick2007 $1,500
  4. freephildirt $1,000
  5. Slickest $800
  6. lvkid7 $600
  7. HumorMe $500
  8. bansman $400
  9. VegasPlayer $300

Traffic trends in Nevada

Nevada’s online poker traffic numbers seemed to have settled into a new holding pattern with an average of 150 cash game players between and Ultimate Poker according to‘s data.

As noted above, tournament traffic seems to have picked up a bit, and with the influx of players during the World Series of Poker and the upcoming pooling of Nevada and Delaware players tournament traffic and cash gamed traffic should see a nice bump.

The word on the street

Regulated vs. Unregulated

Have you ever wondered what it is that is drawing online poker players to illegal, offshore sites? Well, John Mehaffey of can answer that question.

The veteran poker journalist tackled that question in his latest column and it’s a must read for all online poker providers, explaining where they are making missteps and what they can do to help attract these reluctant players.

My solution is simple: Copycat Tactics Haven’t Paid Off for US Poker Rooms

Steve Ruddock Avatar
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Steve Ruddock

Steve is a well-recognized voice in the regulated U.S. online gambling industry. He writes for a number of online and print publications including, USA Today, and others, with a focus on the legal market.

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