Real money online poker has been reintroduced in the U.S. with the launch of UltimatePoker.com, the country’s first legal online gambling portal since regulators shut down gambling sites in 2011. The site is operated by Ultimate Gaming, a subsidiary of Fertitta Interactive that also runs the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Currently, only users in Nevada will have access, since Ultimate Gaming plans to track IP addresses in order to keep the site secure.
“We are proud to be the first company to deliver legal and secure real money online gaming to poker players,” said Ultimate Poker Chairman Tom Breitling.
“The government in 2011 seized the domain names of top gambling sites, including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, and rapidly passed a series of new laws banning online poker, sending shockwaves through what had been a surging U.S. Internet poker industry,” reports Fox Business. “Months later, however, U.S. authorities changed their tune on the Wire Act and paved the way for legalization in the U.S. It has so far been approved in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.”
The site will allow users to gamble with real money. Nevada residents and visitors over 21 will initially have access, although there may be cross-border bets in the future. Deposits and cash outs can be made at any of the Station Casinos’ 16 locations in Las Vegas, and visitors can also deposit money ahead of their visit to Nevada as well.
“Zynga, which has also been working to secure gambling licenses in Nevada in an effort to launch its own real-money games, saw its shares fall close to 1.8 percent to $3.21 ahead of the official UltimatePoker launch,” notes Fox.
“Nevada is now the first state to accept legal, regulated interactive wagers,” A.G. Burnett, chair of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board told Ars Technica. “It’s a big day and I’m proud of the state.”