Could BetMGM Make Nevada Online Poker Safer?

Signs suggest the brand may finally launch in NV soon, bringing more competition & plenty of safer gambling measures to the market, including its award-winning GameSense program.
A "Welcome to Nevada" road sign is seen on a stretch of highway in the desert. Next to it is another road sign with the BetMGM logo, indicating signs that the poker operator may soon launch its product there.
with contributions from .
March 09, 2022

Recent signs have suggested that we may soon see the long-awaited launch of BetMGM’s online poker platform in Nevada bringing with it the operator’s suite of responsible gambling measures that includes GameSensethe integrated platform that offers players tools and support to help them enjoy their gaming time responsibly.

Last May, parent company, Entain, secured a three-year extension to its interactive gaming license from the Nevada Gaming Commission, so suspicions began to arise that the company may be planning to make some moves in the Silver State.

Suspicions then intensified last week when we caught wind of a recent BetMGM job posting looking to hire someone with a “thorough understanding of and experience with online poker” for a Senior Manager of Poker Marketing position based in Las Vegas.

BetMGM’s arrival would mark the end of the de facto monopoly that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) has enjoyed for nearly a decade. The launch would bring more competition to the state and give customers another legal site to play on.

Not only is BetMGM one of the most well-known gambling operators in both the virtual and in-person gambling realms, but the company also has a plethora of responsible gaming tools at its disposal, which would be of great benefit to players in the state.

Of the small handful of operators that went live in Nevada’s early days, WSOP was the only one that lasted. Ultimate Poker was the very first to launch back in 2013 and didn’t even last two full years. Real Gaming arrived early in 2014 but never gained any traction and, while its license is still active, the poker client has been dormant for many years.

That has left WSOP as the only game in town for the last eight years and some fresh energy injected into the Nevada poker landscape would certainly be welcomed by poker enthusiasts. They have, in fact, been waiting years for another operator to show up. For ages, it was expected that more brands would go live in Nevada. In particular, BetMGM and its sister site, partypoker — both jointly owned by Entain and MGM Resorts International — have been expected to enter the NV market for quite some time.

The latest career posting by BetMGM certainly indicates that this plan may finally come to fruition in the near future. The job description and prerequisites certainly make it seem that way. On top of five-plus years of marketing experience in a gaming-related role, the qualifications also specifically states that a “thorough understanding of and experience with online poker is required”.

A Nevada-based position for an online poker expert certainly leaves very little room for interpretation and the potentially forthcoming launch can also hardly be seen as a standalone product. Instead, it is far more likely that the company would go live in Nevada with the intention of linking up with the existing trio of sibling sites — BetMGM NJ, partypoker NJ, and Borgata NJ — that already share a player pool in New Jersey. NV, NJ, and DE are the three states that currently comprise the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), a compact which WSOP NV already takes advantage of, sharing traffic and liquidity with its own sibling sites in New Jersey and Delaware, and BetMGM is expected to follow down the same path.

The self-proclaimed 'King of Sportsbooks’ has a strong presence in the regulated US online gambling markets — including Nevada, where BetMGM launched its sports betting site in March of 2020. As the brand has grown, so have its safer gambling efforts, and today, BetMGM is home to one of the most sophisticated responsible gaming programs in the US.

Since 2018, parent company Entain has been a member of the National Council on Problem Gambling’s (NCPG’s) President’s Circle, a visionary group of industry leaders that combat problem gambling and promote responsible national standards.

The company’s commitment to responsible gaming would certainly be an asset to the growing online gambling market in Nevada. BetMGM has gone even further than the standard RG offerings you find at most other sites and has established its own sophisticated responsible gambling program GameSense.

First launched in 2017, the program focuses on “having positive, transparent, and proactive conversations about how to gamble safely”. In 2019, GameSense was brought online with a site built around the principles of “real fairness, real security, and real prevention,” and a way to provide an assortment of useful resources to help keep players safe.

BetMGM has fully integrated the GameSense program into its desktop and mobile app. Should BetMGM Poker launch in Nevada, every poker player in the state would gain access to the impressive suite of RG tools and resources, right at their fingertips. Poker players would have another safe and secure platform at their disposal and one more reason to skip the risky offshore operators that offer their services without holding a US license.

Responsible gaming measures are readily available every time a player logs onto the site, with a suite of RG tools that include the option to self-exclude, set playtime and deposit limits, and enable time-outs or cool-off periods.

Identity checks have become a standard safeguard at any legal online poker room in the US and at BetMGM’s Nevada Sportsbook, these checks go a step further, requiring all players to complete their registrations in person at a brick-and-mortar casino before they can place their first wager.

BetMGM has gone even further than the standard RG offerings and has established its sophisticated responsible gambling program GameSense.

GameSense doesn’t only exist in the digital realm, it’s also become a key part of MGM’s land-based casinos and resort properties. At each of the brand’s US properties, guests can go to the MGM Rewards desk to speak in person with one of the 180+ GameSense Advisors and, on the casino floor, players can access RG tools and information by scanning the GameSense QR codes that appear on the sides of slot machines.

Written by