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Golden Gaming in the picture when online poker debuts field trial

LAS VEGAS — Beginning tomorrow, the World Series of Poker (WSOP), will offer real-money online poker in the United States in the State of Nevada at WSOP.com.

Nevada residents and visitors of legal age with an internet connection and a mobile phone can play real money online poker. Participants must be 21 years old or older and age will be verified and vetted through gaming screening.

WSOP.com will be the exclusive destination for online players in Nevada to win seats into the annual tourney, which has given away more than $1.8 billion to players during its history, including more than $197 million in 2013 alone.

WSOP.com will offer satellite and ladder tournaments that could qualify a player for a seat at the $10,000 WSOP Main Event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and an opportunity for players of all skill levels to win their way to the WSOP Europe (WSOPE) in Paris, France, with a €10,000 WSOPE Main Event seat and $3,000 in spending money up for grabs for the live land-based event Oct. 19 in Paris.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) CEO Mitch Garber said, “A state-of-the-art poker offering from one of the most established and regulated operators in the United States, is finally here. We will bridge land-based and online gaming in ways that have never been seen before.”

When WSOP.com launches at 9:19 a.m., Sept. 19, the offering will be in the Field Trial stage of development, a period in which CIE and the Nevada regulatory authorities will closely monitor all facets of the operation. Nevada regulators will have final authority to approve the technology and move WSOP.com out of Field Trial.The public can play on the site during the Field Trial stage.

General Manager of Online Poker Geoffrey Stewart said, “This opens up a whole new category, enabling us to connect with consumers year-round and reach them where they are most today — on digital devices.”

At launch, the WSOP.com real-money poker offering will be available to both PC and Mac users and will offer:

• Cash games, Sit & Gos, Satellites and Multi-table Tournaments;

• Buy-ins for cash games that start as low as 1¢-2¢ and tournaments that start at $1.10;

• Daily $100 and $25 free rolls for players of all levels;

• Limit and No-Limit Hold’em with full table and short-handed games, plus the popular Omaha variant will be offered including Omaha Hi-Lo, as well as Seven Card Stud.

• Deposit methods including ACH (e-Checks), Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards and withdrawal methods including ACH and paper checks.

The site will offer a series of outstanding launch promotions including $700 in Welcome Week Freerolls for new registrants, $1,000 and $2,500 nightly guaranteed tournaments, and a special Sunday tournament each week beginning Sept. 29 and guaranteeing $15,000 in payouts.

The site’s tent pole launch promotion will be the WSOP.com Online Championships, a series of nine tournaments with $500,000 in added money. The event will progress through October and nine different winners get the opportunity to participate in the “Online Nine” to coincide with WSOP’s land-based Main Event finale at the Rio Nov. 4-5.

In order to begin playing on WSOP.com, players should go to www.WSOP.com and follow the instructions to register and download the poker client.

Along the same thread, state gaming regulators gave preliminary approval Thursday to a marketing agreement between Golden Gaming and Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings in which the tavern operator could deliver its customers as online poker players to a website that includes Treasure Island.

Under terms of the agreement, Golden Gaming can sign up customers from its three Pahrump casinos and its 40 wholly-owned statewide tavern operations to play online poker on a planned website that will be operated by 888 Holdings.

Golden Gaming would share in a percentage of the gaming revenues with Treasure Island and 888 Holdings.

Golden Gaming does not have any role in the operation of the website, and is a vehicle to deliver players. Golden Gaming is expected to market the 888 website through various inter­active programs and other means.

The Nevada Gaming Commission will have to sign off on the agreement on Sept. 26.

If approved, the agreement would go live when Treasure Island launches its website. Currently, Station Casinos-owned Ultimate Gaming has the state’s only real money regulated online poker website in operation.

888 Holdings plans to operate poker websites for Caesars Entertainment, under the World Series of Poker brand, Treasure Island, and its 888 poker website. Golden Gaming would share in the revenues if a customer signs up to play on either the Treasure Island or 888 website.

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