In August, South Point Poker LLC became the first company to receive a license to operate an intrastate online poker room and was confident it would have its site up and running to serve Nevada residents this month. As it turns out, that will not happen, but South Point has said that everything is still on track despite it taking a bit longer than it had hoped.
The hold-up appears to lie with the independent testing process, not with South Point itself. The company’s Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Vaughan told VegasInc.com, “We feel we could launch today. But you’ve got to go through the independent testing labs, you have to satisfy the State Gaming Control Board and because we are the first, we’re going to be under the microscope. They’re going to prod us every which way, and that’s good. We don’t want to come out and fall flat on our face and be an embarrassment for Nevada.”
South Point has developed its own poker client, which makes it different from many other Nevada applicants who are looking to partner with software developers. In a July interview with eGaming Review (EGR) magazine, South Point CEO Michael Gaughan said that an independent lab was in the second wave of testing its software. There is no indication that the software will not pass, the tests are just taking longer than expected.
South Point now estimates that its new site will go live sometime near the end of 2012.
The company is no stranger to the online poker game. In October 2011, South Point launched the free-to-play South Point Poker on the ZEN Entertainment Network. No fees whatsoever are required on the network – games are completely free. Despite the zero cost and cash and prizes, the poker room has not done as well as Gaughan anticipated. It (the software) was complicated and hard to download,” he told EGR. “[The poor results were] partly down to the provider and partly because I lost interest in it when it didn’t grow as fast as I thought it would.”
That site has finally been closed. “We thought there was a lot of confusion happening,” Lawrence Vaughan told VegasInc. “People see something in the press saying we’re the first to be licensed, and then they go to the site and see this free play thing. Now that we’re licensed, we put so much effort in to building our own stuff that we wanted the focus to be on that.”
Despite the delay, South Point should still become the first intrastate online poker room in the United States. Monarch Interactive also received a license from the Nevada Gaming Commission, but it did not have its own software and had not even partnered with a provider yet.
Said Michael Gaughan in July, “I may not be the biggest or the best, but hopefully I’ll have a head start by two or three months.”