LAS VEGAS (AP) - The corporate owners of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas are betting their championship name will play large on the Internet, with the planned launch of their real-money online gambling website.
WSOP.com will be the second entry in Nevada's online poker world when it opens at 9:19 a.m. Thursday. Ultimate Gaming, a subsidiary of Las Vegas-based Station Casinos, became the first when it debuted an online partnership with Ultimate Poker on April 30.
WSOP.com will be available for people who live in and visit Nevada, one of three states in the U.S. with legalized online wagering. Players must be 21 or older, with their age verified by Caesars Interactive Entertainment.
"This is a historic moment for our company," CEO Mitch Garber said. "We will bridge land-based and online gaming in ways that have never been seen before."
Garber emphasized the link with Caesars Entertainment Corp., a publicly traded company that he called one of the most established and regulated casino operators in the United States. Garber said combining the 43-year-old World Series of Poker brand with other Caesars programs would attract "today's technologically savvy consumers."
One feature: WSOP.com will be the only place online to win seats in the real World Series of Poker.
"This opens up a whole new category for the WSOP brand, enabling us to connect with consumers year-round and reach them where they are most today - on digital devices," said WSOP.com General Manager of Online Poker Geoffrey Stewart
Nevada regulatory authorities will monitor what the officials called public field trials of cash, sit-and-go and satellite games, including penny buy-ins and tournaments starting at $1.10. Games will include limit and no-limit hold'em, with full table and short-handed games, plus Omaha hi-lo and seven card stud.
Tom Breitling, co-founder and chairman of Ultimate Gaming, issued a statement welcoming the second player at the Internet poker table.
"This news, along with the 15 million hands Ultimate Poker has dealt since April 30th, is a clear indication of the strong market for regulated online poker," Breitling said.