UP Adds Payment Location Option; Larger Processing Issues Remain

Written By Steve Ruddock on July 17, 2014
Ultimate Poker and the El Cortez partnership

Earlier this year Ultimate Poker inked a deal with Peppermill Casinos that saw Ultimate Poker become the official online poker room of Peppermill Casinos and would allow players to deposit and withdraw from Ultimate Poker at any one of the five Peppermill Casinos scattered across Nevada.

Now Ultimate Poker and the El Cortez have inked a similar deal that will see Ultimate Poker players have the capability to deposit and withdraw at the El Cortez Hotel and Casino in Downtown Las Vegas.

Ultimate Poker players can now make deposits in-person at numerous locations across the state, and perhaps more importantly, not just in Las Vegas but also in other locales in Nevada, as the Peppermill Casino is located in Reno, and the company has several locations in northern Nevada as well: the Western Village Inn and Casino in Sparks, Nevada; the Rainbow Hotel Casino, Peppermill Hotel Casino, and Montego Bay Casino which are all located in Wendover, Nevada.

Now, in addition to their Station Casino locations, UP online poker players can also deposit or withdraw to and from their online poker account if they are in Downtown Las Vegas as well, thanks to the deal with El Cortez.

In addition to increased deposit options the casinos that have partnered with Ultimate Poker will also promote Ultimate Poker on their properties. El Cortez Executive VP Alexandra Epstein stated that “by combining the online accessibility of Ultimate Poker with the classic Vegas feel of the El Cortez we’re giving new and existing players a different way to experience the game of poker.”

How much of a difference this will make is unclear, but until credit cards are roundly accepted the more options players are given the better.

Payment processing still a major issue

While both of these deals are indeed helpful in the short-term (as in-person deposits have been the simplest and most effective way to fund your online account) they do little to solve the larger problem of payment processing for legal online poker sites.

The nascent online poker industry in the US has tried just about everything to alleviate the troubling rate of declined credit cards potential customers are experiencing.

Sites have added everything from Skrill to Neteller, and from additional in-person depositing options to prepaid cards.

Many options have been added, but they have done little to solve the problem, as it seems to be a problem that will only be solved when depositing at an online poker room in the US is instantaneous and can be done with virtually any credit card in your wallet.

People are searching for solutions

One company, Secure Trading, is trying to remedy this with a new prepaid card that is being touted as an “end-to-end solution.”

According to a press release:

“ST-1 manages every step of the transaction process, from player registration and player deposits, through to withdrawals. It helps operators meet the demands of such a challenging industry by carrying out thorough identification, location and responsible gambling checks. It enables operators to securely process deposits, manage the back office and deal with withdrawals through one fully integrated compliant platform.”

However, this still adds a step to the process as players must sign up for and fund their prepaid cards in advance. Any player hoping to register and fund their online poker account on a whim will be at the mercy of their bank and credit card.

It should be noted that Ultimate Poker also offers their own prepaid card.

Until players can just suddenly get an urge to play online poker and do so immediately, payment processing is going to continue to be one of the biggest drags on the industry.

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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 OnlinePokerReport.com, USA Today, and others, with a focus on the legal market.

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