On Tuesday, UltimatePoker.com is expected to launch what will become the country’s first fully legal online poker site—with one major catch: it will be limited to those physically present within the state of Nevada. Neither the site nor state regulators have said precisely what means they will use to determine a player's location, but Nevada state officials told Ars previously that it would be far more extensive than simple IP-based geo-location.
“This is an important day for the gaming industry,’’ Ultimate Poker Chairman Tom Breitling said Monday in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We’re the first, not only in Nevada but in America, to offer real money poker in a regulated environment.”
Breitling and other executives will be on a press conference call that Ars will participate in later Tuesday morning, and we will update our story with more details.
"Nevada is now the first state to accept legal, regulated interactive wagers," A.G. Burnett, the chair of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, told Ars. "It's a big day and I'm proud of the state."
The launch of the new site marks a significant change since April 2011's “Black Friday,” the infamous day in the poker world when federal criminal and civil charges were brought against three major poker sites and their associates, and $3 billion in assets were seized. The government alleged that these sites were in violation of a 2006-era federal law (PDF) forbidding companies knowingly accepting payments for illegal online gambling. As a consequence, nearly all overseas poker sites refuse to do business with players coming from American IP addresses. (Ars will also have a longer feature on online gambling in the coming days.)