ONLINE POKER: UFC adds kick to first Nevada gaming site

Ultimate Gaming, a majority-owned subsidiary of Station Casinos, has launched real money online poker at UltimatePoker.com, making history as the first company in the United States to offer legal and secure online poker.

Ultimate Poker, the exclusive online gaming partner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has already registered thousands of users from every U.S. state and more than 20 countries within just 72 hours of launching.

Company officials said the launch of Ultimate Poker, the nation’s first legally regulated pay-to-play online gaming website, had exceeded expectations.

Speaking to Gambling911, Ultimate Poker chairman Tom Breitling didn’t want to reveal official numbers for the website’s first few days, which can only accept wagers from gamblers playing on computers or mobile devices located within Nevada’s borders.

Nevada will soon earn 6.75 per cent of the site’s revenues, the state’s first gaming taxes via online wagering.

Station Casinos, Inc., controlled by brothers Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta, own 57 per cent of Ultimate Poker. Breitling, who owns 14 per cent, has led the development of Ultimate Poker, which has branding and marketing ties to the Fertitta-owned Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Breitling said players are registering as users both through the website and at cashiers cages inside all Station Casinos properties in Southern Nevada. Players can use the casinos to add money to accounts and withdraw winnings.

What’s surprising, Breitling said, was the number of customers setting up accounts from outside Nevada through the website, even though they can’t access the action until they physically enter Nevada.

“I think that’s a testament to Las Vegas,” Breitling said. “People are planning their trips and are saying this will be a part of that trip.”

Any poker player in the world can sign up and deposit money into an account at www.UltimatePoker.com in advance of visiting Nevada.

Ultimate Poker offers Limit and No Limit Texas hold’em poker through single-table cash games, sit-and-go events and multi-table tournaments. The poker games will have buy-ins from a few cents to $100.

The website was overwhelmed early on and there was some delays in the sign-up process. Also, geolocation and age-verification protocols slowed the time it took to register.

Nearly 25 casino operators and technology providers have been licensed by state gaming regulators since Nevada’s online gaming regulations were adopted after the 2011 Legislative session.

Ultimate Poker expects to pick up the business as the summer months close in. At the end of May, the World Series of Poker opens its six-week run at the Rio and is expected to attract thousands of poker players.

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