Ultimate Poker continued expanding its reach in the Nevada online poker market by signing a deal with the famed El Cortez casino.
The El Cortez, once owned by connected mob members such as Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, will now promote UP’s online poker offering to their live gaming customers. Players can make online deposits as well as cash out their UP winnings at the El Cortez cashier cage.
The agreement is similar to others that UP parent company Ultimate Gaming has brokered with casinos throughout Nevada, including Peppermill Resorts in the northern end of the state. Almost two dozen Nevada casinos are now allied with UP, with Ultimate Gaming’s Station Casinos leading the way.
The El Cortez opened more than 70 years ago and last year was added to the National Register of Historic Places, the Las Vegas Sun reported. The downtown casino is somewhat of a throwback to the more modern casinos found on the Las Vegas Strip, allowing younger players to get a feel for Vegas-style gambling of eras gone by.
UP was the first legal online poker site in the U.S., launching in April of 2013. The site enjoyed exclusivity in Nevada’s Internet poker market until WSOP.com joined the action in September. South Point’s Real Gaming also soft launched earlier this year but remains in testing mode.
WSOP.com continues to lead the Nevada online market, buoyed recently by professional poker players who had been in town since May 27 for the 45th running of the WSOP. The live poker festival has reached its conclusion, however, as action played down until the final nine players of the Main Event were named. Those nine will reconvene in November to compete for the $10 million championship.
Prior to the start of this year’s WSOP, UP trailed WSOP.com in player traffic by a 2 to 1 margin. That lead has since been stretched to 3 to 1, PokerScout reported. Odds are that the margin will shrink once again now that the WSOP is over and pros from throughout the globe will return to their homes. Anyone of legal age within Nevada can play at the regulated sites, whether U.S. citizens or foreigners.
While UP’s online presence in Nevada is strong, the same cannot be said in New Jersey. That market is dominated by the Party Borgata Network, followed by WSOP.com and the All American Poker Network. UP is looking up at the top three in the Garden State market and would likely see a boost if the two states were to combine player pools in an interstate partnership.
While Nevada and Delaware have committed to such an alliance, New Jersey has not yet been included but likely will at some point in the future. Meanwhile, UP is attempting to strengthen its position in Nevada by forging agreements with land-based casinos similar to its most recent collaboration with El Cortez.