If you haven’t already heard, South Point Casino in Las Vegas launched RealGaming.comon Tuesday, the third regulated online poker site in Nevada. Lawrence Vaughan, Real Gaming’s Co-Founder, has been integrally involved in the process of creating the site’s poker software and was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his day to talk about the room’s soft launch, which is now entering its second day. Real Gaming is tied to South Point Casino in Nevada.
“We ended up rethinking what we were doing and we took longer to get to market in order to focus on creating a multi-platform client,” Vaughan told PocketFives in an exclusive interview, referencing Real Gaming’s nimble HTML5 client. “The timing, for us, doesn’t matter too much. It’s still the early days of online poker in Nevada. There are still many people being educated.”
Real Gaming’s HTML5 client enables it to run smoothly no matter what device the end user employs, whether it is an iPhone, an Android device, or a desktop computer, for example. “We created the software from scratch,” Vaughan explained. “It’s not a simple task. When it comes to the soft launch, because this isn’t a small undertaking, we’re starting very small in the sense that we’re not doing any campaigns and not launching all of our features in one go.” Real Gaming’s client requires no download.
This week, South Point sent an e-mail blast to customers who had pre-registered for its online poker client. Still to come, according to Vaughan, are MTT-related features that should be of interest to the PocketFives community. Nevada remains a cash game-heavy state due to the smaller player pool, but has several meaningful MTTs on the weekends and during the week, which you can read about by visiting PocketFives’ Nevada poker community here on PocketFives and clicking on “News” at the top of the page.
Meanwhile, feedback from players over the last few days has helped Real Gaming fine-tune its existing offering. One key piece of advice so far, according to Vaughan, has centered on its slate of games, which Real Gaming has been able to adjust on the fly.
As Vaughan put it, “We built the software from the ground up in Las Vegas. It has been built so we can make rapid changes and get them out to users. I don’t understand going into a business where you don’t control your own business. I don’t think you can do it without getting feedback, building new things, and pushing them out.”
One way Nevada could increase its liquidity is through compacts with other states. What jurisdictions would be optimal for Nevada to partner with? What about California, which it borders? Vaughan speculated, “With California, you have multiple parties pulling and pushing in different directions. Other states will be more straightforward where you have fewer local interests, so a compact with those states might be more doable.”
The addition of Real Gaming puts the total number of regulated online poker sites in Nevada at three: Real Gaming, the Caesars-run WSOP.com, and the Fertitta-owned Ultimate Poker. Will more sites join the fray? Vaughan commented, “I don’t see the total number of sites in Nevada growing much from here. It’s not inexpensive to launch a site and there’s not a lot of money to be made here with a traditional business process. I view this as the beginning of an industry.”
Also commenting on the launch of Real Gaming was Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas, who echoed the need for compacts in order to increase liquidity. Pappas told us, “We’d love to see more products available for players in Nevada as well as stronger marketing that will bring more interest in the online game. The more operators there are invested, the higher the likelihood will be that we can see success in other jurisdictions and even see Nevada coming together with other states.”