Real Gaming went live in mid-February with a field trial that is being closely monitored by Nevada Gaming Control Board officials. The test period may last 180 days, which would conclude in August and presumably be right on time for the launch of an interstate partnership agreement between Nevada and Delaware.
South Point Hotel Casino & Spa is operating the Real Gaming brand and astute observers will recall that casino owner Michael Gaughan had visions of being the first online poker site to launch for real-money in the Silver State. The casino had already been first to market with a free-play online poker room since 2011.
Gaughan anticipated beating the competition in turning on the real-money virtual switch, vocalizing his intentions toward the end of 2012 and well before UP eventually took the honor on April 30, 2013. As it turns out, Real Gaming shifted gears and instead put a major focus on creating software that was technologically superior to other offerings on the market and had the “the future in mind.”
Any Device. Anywhere. Anytime.
That future is in mobile gaming and Real Gaming took the time to develop a web-based application that allows for online poker to be played on every conceivable platform, from PCs and Macs to tablets, iPhones and iPads. A download is not required and permits players to access the site through the browser and play from anywhere within the borders of Nevada.
In a recent interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Real Gaming CEO Lawrence Vaughan indicated that in the almost three months of the test period, the website has lived up to the performance expectations that both he and Gaughan had envisioned. Vaughan went so far as to say that he is glad that Real Gaming waited on launching in order to be available on every mobile device.
“It really doesn’t matter if you were first or not and it doesn’t matter if you trip out the door,” Vaughan said. “New customers will come out and define a different type of experience. I think over time we’re going to see the casual gamer become primarily mobile.”
Real Gaming Traffic Gains
Cash game traffic in the Nevada market saw a mild increase as of late.
As of this writing, PokerScout reports that UP and WSOP combine for a seven-day average of 165 players. The boost may be at least partially attributable to UP’s $100 reload bonus that is due to expire on May 9.
Once the Real Gaming soft launch concludes, it will be interesting to see how much of the market the upstart can grab from the two “veteran” sites. A marketing campaign is in the works at Real Gaming that will include the South Point casino.
However, Real Gaming appears to be banking more on the mobile market, which means that a customer base will likely take a bit more time to develop. The upcoming pooling of players with Delaware may also benefit Real Gaming, as it is likely that a hard launch will have commenced by then and the site’s marketing activities will be in full swing.