USPoker.com has reported that a poker room located at Texas Station to the north of Las Vegas will be shut down this week.
Although Station Casinos Incorporated, which owns this eight-table poker facility, has an online poker business in Nevada, it has decided to shut down this room. Early this year, an eight-table poker room at Sunset Station was also closed down.
Shutting down a poker room is quite common in Las Vegas and companies have been shutting down their poker facilities from several years. The UKPoker.com report says that nine poker rooms have been shut down from 2012.
The results of a research study conducted by UNLV show that Nevada had 88 poker rooms with a total of 774 poker tables in 2013, which is a small number compared to the numbers in 2004. Simultaneously, the decrease in number of poker rooms did not have any negative impact on Nevada poker revenues. Last year, Nevada’s live as well as online poker businesses generated $123,891,000 compared to the $123,253,000 in revenue generated in 2012. Interestingly, Nevada had 99 poker rooms with a total of 809 poker tables in 2012.
Late in April 2013, Nevada launched the first licensed and regulated online poker room in the US, Ultimate Poker. The state’s regulatory body did not publish any revenue figures till 2014 because it was waiting for more operators to flood the newly regulated market. Today, Nevada has three online poker rooms—Ultimate Poker, WSOP.com, and South Point Casino. One cannot say for sure that Nevada’s poker revenue kept rising because of the legalization of online poker. At the same time, one cannot accuse Nevada’s online poker rooms of cannibalizing the Silver State’s existing live poker businesses as companies have been shutting down poker rooms from 2009, which is long before online poker was legalized in the state.
Since Nevada’s online poker industry is still in the infant stage, one cannot tell if it could lead to an increased interest in live poker rooms and an increase in the number of live poker tables in the state. It may be recalled that advocates of online poker legalization had argued that legal online poker will not cannibalize existing land-based gaming businesses, but actually help them grow.